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President Joe Biden has been constantly criticized by Republicans for his failure to address the worsening crisis at the southern border. But recently, members of his own party have turned on him over the issue. A growing chorus of Democratic voices has risen up to take the White House to task amid a constant influx of illegal immigrants and asylum seekers showing up at the southern border to gain entry into the United States.
The problem has created a tricky situation for those on the left, as the 2024 elections loom on the horizon.
Democratic strongholds are struggling to keep helping the surge of migrants in their cities and states — and it’s sparking anxiety in the party about potential fallout heading into the 2024 election cycle.
New York Mayor Eric Adams’ tussle with the White House over an influx of migrants from red states has famously soured his relationship with President Joe Biden. But he’s far from the only blue state official pushing back, as public pressure and budget concerns rise in Illinois, Massachusetts and beyond.
Mayor Adams’ feud with the White House over the immigration issue has been ongoing as his city is one of several bearing the brunt of the border crisis. Last week, he announced that he had spoken with President Biden and communicated to him the severity of the situation. “You know, we need an emergency declaration, we need to be properly funded, we need a decompression strategy not only in the city but throughout the state. This is just wrong,” he said.
The same scenario is playing out in cities like Chicago, as Illinois and other blue states like Massachusetts are also grappling with public pressure and budgetary constraints brought about by the influx of illegal immigrants and asylum seekers.
“You’re hearing sentiments that are not dissimilar from what you would hear at [Donald] Trump rallies where asylum-seekers are referred to as illegals,” Chicago Alderperson Andre Vasquez, who heads the Chicago City Council’s Committee on Immigrant and Refugee Rights, said in an interview. “There are people who are saying ‘the Democratic Party isn’t doing anything for us’ and ‘look at what we’re stuck with.’”
Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson in August said that the Windy City “cannot go on welcoming new arrivals safely and capably without significant support and immigration policy changes.”
Democrats are well aware of the reality that American voters want to see progress on solving the border crisis, which has persisted since shortly after President Biden took office. Indeed, the majority of Americans support reforming the nation’s immigration system even if they have differing views on what this would look like.
The White House has made moves to alleviate pressure on major cities by allowing Venezuelans to apply for work permits. However, Democratic leaders in these states insist that more assistance is needed because their communities lack the resources necessary to provide housing, healthcare, and education. Indeed, Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey recently declared an emergency because of the state’s challenges in furnishing shelter and services to thousands of homeless families, many of whom are asylum seekers.
The central issue for Democrats is the apparent lack of support coming from the federal government, which has continually failed to employ solutions to stem the flow of people showing up at the southern border. This would explain why more left-leaning politicians are now speaking out against the administration publicly. As the border crisis continues to worsen, it will only deepen the fault lines within the party which will lead to even more Democratic leaders criticizing the White House. But even more than that, if the situation does not improve soon, it could have severe ramifications for the Democratic Party in the upcoming election.