Republican Says U.S. Border Migrants Face 'Biden Nightmare' Instead of 'American Dream'

Rep. John Rose (R-TN) is among the GOP lawmakers heading to the southern border this week to probe the deteriorating situation there, as President Joe Biden's administration grapples with a spike in new arrivals, particularly unaccompanied minors.

Border personnel and infrastructure are close to being overwhelmed by the increasing number of new arrivals, who are hoping to be met by more lenient and liberal immigration policies under Biden than his predecessor.

The administration has been dodging the word "crisis," even as the Federal Emergency Management Agency is drafted in to support the response effort amid warnings of a humanitarian crisis. Republicans, meanwhile, are using the situation to attack the president and vindicate more hardline immigration policy.

The Quote

Rose tweeted a video of himself close to the border in El Paso, Texas, on Monday. "I witnessed first-hand the crisis at our southern border during my trip to El Paso, TX," Rose wrote alongside the clip.

"I looked into the eyes of these young immigrants & their families who have come here believing they can achieve the American Dream, but instead, are facing the Biden Nightmare."

In the video, Rose said the migrants had "been encouraged to come here by the misguided perceptions of our current president."

Rose added: "I call upon our president to end this nightmare by announcing to the world that the southern border of the United States is open for legal immigration, and I call on him to do that now."

I witnessed first-hand the crisis at our southern border during my trip to El Paso, TX.

I looked into the eyes of these young immigrants & their families who have come here believing they can achieve the American Dream, but instead, are facing the Biden Nightmare.

WATCH ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/omjCDCd6pM

— John Rose (@RepJohnRose) March 15, 2021

Why it Matters

The brewing border crisis is drawing attention away from Biden's political priorities, and undermining the success of his coronavirus response plan.

For Republicans, the situation offers a useful attack line, allowing them to distract from their opposition to the broadly popular COVID-19 stimulus package, simmering internal party conflict, and concerns about far-right extremism within the GOP.

The GOP also sees the situation as vindication of former President Donald Trump's anti-immigrant stance, despite broad criticism of the human rights abuses—particularly the separation of children from their parents—that occurred at the southern border during his term.

The situation is also throwing Biden into conflict with regional Republican leaders, for example Texas Governor Greg Abbott. Republicans are framing the head-to-head as an issue of states rights versus federal overreach, while the White House is using it to illustrate what it says is GOP intransigence.

The Counterpoint

The Biden administration is refusing to use the word "crisis" and is putting the blame on its predecessor.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Monday: "We recognize this is a big problem—the last administration left us a dismantled and unworkable system. And like any other problem, we are going to do everything we can to solve it."

Migrant family in Brownsville, Texas at border
An immigrant family is pictured awaiting COVID-19 test results on February 25, 2021 after being released by U.S. immigration authorities in Brownsville, Texas. John Moore/Getty Images