POLITICS: It’s time for Joe Biden to ‘address’ the migrant problem in NYC
Someone once said that a Catholic bishop never hears the truth or has a bad meal.
That also perfectly describes Joe Biden’s visit to New York.
The clear-the-streets edict for the president’s motorcade caused the usual traffic jams for ordinary schlubs as he headed off to dinner Sunday at Il Cantinori, a pricey Italian restaurant popular with celebrities.
It’s good to be king.
At later fund-raising events, where the only questions were polite and paying customers laughed at his jokes, Biden claimed his age isn’t a problem, which is hilarious.
His speech there didn’t just seem to be divorced from reality, it actually was.
All the grand talk of united democracies, climate change, artificial intelligence and, again, climate change felt disconnected at a time when the global order is fraying and chaos reigns at home.
If there was a sense of urgency about the turmoil, I missed it.
The UN itself is searching for relevance, as evidenced by the fact that key world leaders found better things to do with their time than listen to each other spout cliches.
The heads of China, Russia, India, France, the UK and others stayed away, their delegations replaced with the sort of extras Hollywood uses to fill seats, lest the cameras catch a vacancy.
The result was that Biden looked trapped in a world view that time has passed by.
The one exception is that he gave the Russian invasion of Ukraine deserved attention, mainly to rally the political class in a fatigued Europe and confront the growing skepticism in Congress that the war is winnable and affordable.
The Ukrainian spring and summer offensive that was hailed by the White House and the American media as a turning point has not significantly altered the battlefield, and so the back-and-forth slaughter continues.
Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, was in the UN audience and later gave his own fiery speech, but more significant than anything he said is what he did before arriving in the US.
In what amounted to a purge, he fired all six defense ministers, a move supposedly part of a long-running probe into corruption, but the timing isn’t a coincidence.
Expect Zelensky to highlight the dismissals in Washington as proof he is committed to making sure America’s generosity is not stolen or squandered.
Meanwhile, if Biden wanted a dose of reality closer to home, he could have shown even a bare interest in the migrant mobs swallowing New York.
More than half are living on the taxpayers’ dole, pushing the three-year projected tab to $12 billion.
About 6 million more asylum-seekers and other illegal crossers are scattered from sea to shining sea.
Many are in solidly blue cities, and if Biden cared about what his policies have done to Democratic strongholds and how that might affect next year’s election, he could have made a small detour from the UN to stop at the Roosevelt Hotel on Madison Avenue and East 45th Street.
Even allowing for the tidying up that precedes a presidential visit, there is no escaping the impact of the hundreds of new arrivals on any given day, often from scores of countries.
Some are regularly forced to sleep on the streets when there is no room inside the already-jammed intake facility.
Biden’s refusal to witness the crisis he created extends to Mayor Adams, who had the nerve — the nerve! — to refuse to remain silently obedient to party orthodoxy.
For speaking up, even gently, Adams was iced out and made persona non grata by the president.
See, because the White House never, ever talks about the border, the throngs of people who cross every day, the deaths on the trek, the child trafficking or how the cartels are getting fabulously wealthy as their drugs flood American cities, the problem doesn’t exist.
In the real world, New York has suffered more than any other non-border destination, in part because it’s New York and in part because it has a unique “right to shelter” policy enforced by the courts.
Initially, Adams foolishly welcomed thousands of the new arrivals before it gradually dawned on him that the numbers would soon outstrip the city’s ability to handle them and that the costs would wreck the budget.
In the most polite terms at first, the mayor sought federal aid, being careful never to criticize Biden personally or even fault the open-border policies.
He was willing to have New York carry the load, he just wanted Washington and Albany to share the costs.
But his tip-toeing got him nothing and the implied criticism of the president burned the White House, which feared that Dem mayors and governors would unite with Republican leaders to demand border security.
And if the feds started taking responsibility for the costs in New York, they would face similar demands across the nation.
So Adams was frozen out and is planning to, from all appearances, return the favor during Biden’s visit.
He was scheduled to meet the Swedish prime minister, the president of Sierra Leone and the mayor of Seoul, South Korea, but not the president of the United States.
Even Gov. Hochul got a cold shoulder from the Oval Office when she went hat-in-hand, though she did get the promise of a tad more aid.
But playing childish politics won’t make the problem go away or bring the dead back to life.
The heart-breaking death of an infant in a Bronx day care that also served as a dealers’ distribution point underscores how insidious the drug trade has become.
If past is prelude, we can assume many of the ingredients of the deadly drug were manufactured in China and came across the Mexican border.
It’s an act of war against our own country, but Biden can’t be bothered.
The war in Europe is very important, but so is the one at home.
Doing math home ‘work’
Reader Dan Nicoll believes politics will stop the White House from rushing to give migrants work permits.
He writes: “There are approximately 6 million undocumented aliens and if 40% are able bodied adults willing to work, the ranks of the unemployed would increase from 6 million to 8 million and the unemployment rate would increase from 3.5% to 5%. That would deep-six Biden’s claims of a good economy and ruin his reelection campaign.”
Reader Donna Farley spots a problem for Democrats, writing that they “don’t want Kamala Harris either but painted themselves into a corner. How can the party that calls Republicans racist and against women’s rights push out a woman of color, no matter how incompetent she is?”