I’ve written a big — and I mean big, more than 5,000 words — piece on how Trump got control of the border, a story that hasn’t been told in much detail:
Counter to the image of the administration taking a blunderbuss approach to everything related to immigration, the push at the border was a thoughtful, creative, and well-coordinated effort across government agencies and between sovereign countries.
It is worth revisiting because understanding how it came about and the reasons that it made such a difference underlines the mistakes that Biden is making now, no matter how much his officials and allies want to deny it and shift blame.
Many of Trump’s policy successes — tax cuts, deregulation, judges — came from adopting standard, off-the-shelf GOP policy. There is another category, though, of intractable issues or unexpected crises that were addressed by innovative problem-solving by officials unwilling to accept the conventional wisdom about what was possible.
The Abraham Accords and Operation Warp Speed, as well as other aspects of the pandemic response, fall into this category. So does the border, even if has been largely unappreciated.
Commentators who were willing to welcome Middle East peace and the rapid development of COVID vaccines, even if it meant giving credit to people they despised, were never going to find anything good to say about the Trump administration’s immigration hawks.
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