The federal government can’t house and care for the horde of unaccompanied illegal-alien minors at the border, so President Biden has a solution: send them to Red States [Biden administration considers flying migrants to states near the Canadian border for processing, by Nick Miroff, the Washington Post, March 20, 2021]. But some Republican governors are saying no. Their resistance to this illegal-alien dumping shows that the GOP/GAP is moving in the right direction. But much more must be done—above all opposing legal immigration—to prove Republicans are the America First party and stop the Great Replacement.
States that are resisting illegal-alien resettlement at this writing: Iowa, Montana, Nebraska, South Carolina, and South Dakota.
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, no fire breathing conservative, fired the opening salvo at Biden. “This is not our problem,” Reynolds told a local radio show:
“This is the president’s problem. He’s the one that has opened the border, and he needs to be responsible for this and he needs to stop it.”
[Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds Sets The Bar For Republicans To Refuse To Enable Biden’s Border Crisis, by Gabe Kaminsky, The Federalist, April 13, 2021]
Montana is squarely against resettlement, too. Attorney General Austin Knudsen told Fox News his state hasn’t the resources to care for the illegals, while Gov. Greg Gianforte has threatened to sue the Biden administration [Montana governor threatens legal action if Biden administration flies migrants from southern border, by Anna Giaritelli, Washington Examiner, March 23, 2021].
Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts said his state also lacks the resources to pay for Biden’s border mess, while South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster issued an executive order refusing the request. McMaster wrote to the head of the state’s social services agency:
“South Carolina’s children must always be given first priority for placement into foster care and the State’s strained resources must be directed to addressing the needs of its children. … Allowing the federal government to place an unlimited number of unaccompanied migrant children into our state’s child welfare system for an unspecified length of time is an unacceptable proposition.”
[SC governor bars state from housing unaccompanied minors, by John Bowden, The Hill, April 13, 2021]
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem offered the most muscular rebuff:
“South Dakota won't be taking any illegal immigrants that the Biden Administration wants to relocate. My message to illegal immigrants... call me when you’re an American.”
South Dakota won't be taking any illegal immigrants that the Biden Administration wants to relocate. My message to illegal immigrants... call me when you're an American.— Governor Kristi Noem (@govkristinoem) April 14, 2021
That loud tweet was Noem’s trying to compensate for surrendering to corporate America on the issue of “transgender women” playing women’s sports. But it’s likely just posturing. The Biden Regime hasn’t requested that South Dakota accept the illegals. As well, her spokesman says she still “welcomes legal immigrants to South Dakota” [Gov. Noem says South Dakota won't help manage border crisis, by Joe Sneve, Sioux Falls Argus Leader, April 14, 2021].
Noem’s embrace of legal immigrants is, of course, the Republicans’ Achilles heel. They still don’t understand that legal immigration is ultimately a bigger problem than illegal immigration.
Thus, when President Trump offered governors the opportunity to refuse refugees, only one Republican took up the offer: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. Some said nothing before District Court Peter J. Messitte, a Clinton appointee, blocked the policy in early 2020, just before Trump left office [Judge Halts Trump Policy That Allows States to Bar Refugees, by Miriam Jordan, New York Times, January 15, 2020]. But other Red State governors actually refused the offer. Thus Reynolds, Ricketts, and Noem all agreed to accept more refugees, although they signed a joint letter praising Trump for better vetting, likely to mitigate their treachery.
McMaster never took a stance [Henry McMaster Still Refuses To Take Position On Refugee Resettlements, FITSNews, January 23, 2020]. (Montana’s Gianforte was in Congress at the time; Democrat Steve Bullock was governor.)
Other GOP governors virtue-signaled mightily too. Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee happily accepted refugees and told fellow Tennesseans they have a “biblical mandate” to resettle them. [Impassioned Gov. Lee defends refugee resettlement participation before GOP activist group, by Andy Sher, Chattanooga Times-Free Press, January 7, 2020]. Of course, they have no such “mandate,” but Lee has not, of course, rejected Biden’s move to resettle the current mounting wave of illegals. Unsurprisingly, Chattanoogans are up in arms about illegals being dumped in their city with neither their knowledge nor permission [Mayor Coppinger 'embarrassed' by scant information on migrant children housing situation, WTVC, April 9, 2021].
The obvious question: Why would a Red State governor support refugee resettlement if he opposes housing illegal alien minors? What’s the big difference?
In the case of refugees, powerful nominally religious lobbies favored and lobbied for resettlement. For instance, prominent evangelicals pressured Gov. McMaster to continue resettling refugees in South Carolina [Evangelical faith leaders urge SC Gov. Henry McMaster to continue accepting refugees, by Rickey Ciapha Dennis, Post and Courier, December 18, 2019].
As yet, no similarly powerful interest groups are pushing for illegal-alien resettlement—or least not any groups to which Republicans think they must surrender.
Moreover, illegal-alien kids are a much bigger news item now than refugees were in late 2019 and early 2020. Forty-eight percent of Americans say illegal immigration is a major problem, one of the highest figures in recent memory [Biden Nears 100-Day Mark With Strong Approval, Pew Research Center, April 15, 2021].
Even the dimmest Republican can see the border crisis. It’s politically advantageous. Refusing to accept Biden’s “migrants” is a no-brainer. It polishes their image with the MAGA grassroots and constituents and provides protection from primary challengers.
And remember this: many GOP governors sang a different tune on refugees when they were major news in 2015. At the time, 30 Republican governors vowed to not take a single Syrian [More than half the nation’s governors say Syrian refugees not welcome, by Ashley Fantz and Ben Brumfield, CNN, November 19, 2015]. The fear of Islamic terrorism was at its peak and Republicans knew a smart play when they saw one. Then they caved four years later.
That said, the GOP stand against Biden on illegal aliens has, in some cases, gone beyond refusing illegals. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is implementing mandatory e-Verify and advertising it across the state, letting illegals and employers know that Florida puts American workers first [New Signs On Highways A Reminder Of Governor's Immigration Stance, by D’Ann Lawrence Wright, Patch, April 14, 2021]. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton continues to file lawsuits against Biden’s action on immigration [Texas Sues Over Biden Scrapping Trump’s Stay-in-Mexico Rule, by Erik Larson, Bloomberg, April 13, 2021].
And the time is coming, and perhaps soon, when the GOP must fight Biden’s attempt to boost legal immigration—beginning with refugees. The Refugee Racket is very important to the Left, partly because the refugee-importing contractors have been a major source of jobs and incomes for Leftists. Biden was just forced to retreat ignominiously when he showed signs of not wanting to ramp up refugee numbers during the border crisis (“we couldn't do two things at once”) [Progressive backlash on refugee cap puts Biden on notice, by Maeve Reston, CNN, April 18, 2021].
Very likely, GOP governors will have refugees foisted upon them at a time when they don’t have the resources to house them or jobs to employ them. Will they echo Lee and claim a biblical mandate for unlimited resettlement? Or will they follow at least Noem’s and McMaster’s stand on illegals and say they must save jobs and resources for about Americans?
This test is crucial for the GOP. It has significantly improved on illegal immigration since the dark days of 2013 and the proposed Gang of Eight Amnesty. These days, no prominent Republican argues for Amnesty to secure the party’s electoral fortunes. Some GOP lawmakers still secretly hanker after the idea to enrich their wealthy donors. But they can no longer expect that message to receive a friendly reception from Fox News and talk radio.
However, too many Republicans still parrot Noem’s nonsense that illegal immigration is the real problem. In fact, of course, legal immigration is just as devastating. Just ask the folks up in Lewiston, Maine. Foreigners taking over your town and depleting your resources are bad, regardless of their immigration status.
It’s time for the GOP to say no to all immigration—to unite behind the simple message that America needs an Immigration Moratorium. If it doesn’t, it is doomed. But so is the Historic American Nation.
Washington Watcher II [Email him] is an anonymous DC insider.