Fred Wilferth’s latest missives on immigration and Ashli Babbitt require a response. As usual his pieces are desperately thin on facts yet quite generous with hyperbole. In terms of the immigration situation let us set aside for a moment the fact that this country needs immigrants in order to thrive. Mr. Wilferth excoriates President Biden for allowing the “invasion” of over 3 million people. That is simply not the case. While DHS did report some 1.5 million “encounters’” in 2020, a good percentage of these people had crossed repeatedly and therefore were counted multiple times. Of the 1.5 million, 1.1 million were immediately expelled under Title 42.
Nevertheless, the system is certainly broken, but to blame the problem on Biden alone indicates a profound misunderstanding of how our government works. Comprehensive immigration reform requires congressional action. In December a bipartisan group of senators led by Tillis and Sinema proposed a bill to provide Dreamers a path to citizenship and at least $25 billion for enhanced border security. This would have been a good first step but Mitch McConnell effectively killed it. Little can be expected from the new Republican-controlled House. Rather than seek realistic compromises, its right-wing members prefer to make inflammatory statements on the floor and then rush off for their Fox News interviews.
With regard to Wilferth’s piece on Ashli Babbitt, her death was of course a tragedy, as was her attempt to obstruct the constitutional order of this country. But Babbitt was not just a follower as Wilferth claims, she was the first and only person to attempt to climb through the shattered glass of a door on way to the House Chamber. Wilferth maintains that there was no inquiry – that is not the case. A Capital Police internal investigation cleared the officer of wrongdoing, and a Justice Department investigation concluded that there was “…no evidence to establish that, at the time the officer fired a single shot at Ms. Babbitt, the officer did not reasonably believe that it was necessary to do so in self-defense or in defense of the Members of Congress and others evacuating the House Chamber.”
I’m not certain where Mr. Wilferth gets his information, but he might want to try expanding his sources.
Dr. Bernd J. Fischer