Between the spending bill to avert a government shutdown, the Afghanistan crisis, the ongoing COVID crisis and much more, it's easy to miss big stories. However, there is a difference between missing a story and completely ignoring one. The latter is what the Biden administration is doing in regards to what is taking place along the southern border.
The U.S.-Mexico border can often be seen as a political tool that gets a lot of attention during elections. However, an election should not be the primary reason that this crisis does or does not get attention. It's important to separate the political propaganda from the facts.
Here is a statistic that should scare everyone. As of June 2021, fentanyl seizures have increased 4000% in the past three years at the border in El Paso, with 41 pounds seized this year alone. Just a reminder that the U.S. is also in an opioid epidemic.
Beyond the perils of drug smuggling, trafficking of women and children is an ever-present concern. Millions of dollars line the pockets of cartel leaders while innocent people face unimaginable trauma and exploitation.
The Delta variant is also on the rise at the southern border, which apparently came as a surprise to Secretary of Domestic and Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas. Mr. Secretary, how could you not expect this to happen when people are flowing into our country at unprecedented rates with no plan in place to make it stop? The COVID-19 vaccine isn't mandated for those entering our country illegally, yet employers with 100 employees or more have to mandate vaccines or weekly testing at their companies.
There has been a significant difference in coverage of the border crisis in the Biden era compared to the Trump era.
How dare Trump golf one day while there is work to be done? However, if Biden goes home to Delaware, rides bikes with the first lady, golfs or eats ice cream while there is work to be done, the press asks him about the ice cream.
Earlier in the year, pictures were released of migrants in pods separated by plastic covers and blankets made out of foil. Now, in Del Rio, Texas, an influx of Haitian migrants on the border has created a water, food and medicine shortage.
The difference in coverage between the two administrations is baffling, but who knows, maybe it's because Biden restricted media access to border facilities back in March. Then, in September, the Federal Aviation Administration issued a temporary flight restriction along the border.
So much for freedom of the press!
Like most of Biden's messes, this was preventable. Here is my unsolicited advice to the Biden administration:
Stop ignoring the crisis at our southern border, Pres. Biden, and do you job. Article 4, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution says, "The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion…"
Stop the mixed messaging and address what is happening in your country.
Vice President Harris, you were put in charge of this border crisis, and you have little to show for it. Go directly to the border and see for yourself what is happening. Talk with the men and women on the ground and help this administration come up with a solution.
There are thousands more Haitian migrants on their way to our southern border. This is not just a legal crisis, but a humanitarian one. We are a nation of laws, and the current administration needs to start acting like it.
Elizabeth Crochet is a 20-year-old political communication junior from New Orleans.