French Lessons for the Biden Administration

You must have breathed a sigh of relief when you learned that Emmanuel Macron defeated Marine Le Pen by 17 points in Sunday’s French presidential election.

A Le Pen victory would be a boon for Vladimir Putin, Viktor Orban and Steve Bannon and a disaster for NATO, Europe and France.

The center held out, thank God, because Macron controlled from the center. He was hated by the extreme left and the extreme right, and he never fully suited those closer to the center.

But he also became the first president to be re-elected in France in 20 years.

There is a lesson in this for the Biden administration and Democrats in Congress, especially when it comes to immigration.

In recent years, it has become a progressive belief that immigration control efforts are supposedly racist.

The border wall ismonument to white supremacy”, — stated in an article published in Bloomberg. The “stay in Mexico” policy is “racist, cruel and inhuman‘, according to the Justice Action Center. Essay published by the publisher Brookings Institution calls US immigration policy “a classic, underappreciated example of structural racism.”

Not so long ago, Bernie Sanders was an avowed supporter of restrictions, believing that immigration lowers the wages of the working class. Did this attitude make him a racist?

The editorial board of the Wall Street Journal, where I once worked, push for open borders with Mexico. Were we left-wing progressives?

People of good will should be able to have different and nuanced views on immigration—and change their minds about it—without being labeled morally inferior.

But this is no longer how it works in progressive circles. The result is political decisions that are bad for the country and worse for the Democrats, and an unsolicited gift to the far right.

The issue is now acute as the Biden administration is both trying to end the Trump administration’s “stay in Mexico” policy in a Supreme Court case while simultaneously accepting the recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to allow Section 42, which allows border authorities to deport illegal immigrants to as a public health measure, expires May 23.

There is no doubt about what will happen if the administration gets its way: the already tense southern border will burst. In fiscal year 2020, there were 646,822.”enforcement actionsat the border. There were slightly less than two million in 2021. Without Section 42 powers, at which 62 percent of deductions occurred in 2021the number of migrants released into the US will rise sharply.

You don’t have to be anti-immigration in general to have serious doubts about the administration’s course.

Is there a practical and accessible legal alternative to regulating immigration through the application of Section 42? Where is the logic for ending Section 42, even if the administration is looking to expand mask mandates because the pandemic is far from over?

Given housing shortage, how big is the capacity to accept the next wave of migrants? Even if the vast majority of migrants are simply looking for a better life, what system is in place to find those with less noble intentions?

More specifically, what does the administration’s complete inability to effectively control the border say about its commitment to the rule of law?

Raising such issues should be an invitation to propose balanced and practical immigration legislation and try to win over moderate Republicans.

Instead, cheap accusations of racism tend to elicit, along with political paralysis in the White House.

Like a politician reported last weeksome think the administration’s secret policy is to call for the repeal of Section 42 to satisfy the progressives, fingers crossed for the courts to go ahead with it – which federal judge did on Monday, at least temporarily.

Leadership due to Trump-appointed judges is probably not what Americans elected Joe Biden for.

Which brings us back to the example of France. When Jean-Marie Le Pen made his first presidential bid on an anti-immigration platform in 1974, he won 0.75 percent of the vote in the first round—less than 200,000 votes. When his daughter Marin competed on a similar platform this year, she scored 41.5 percent in the second round, or more than 13 million. Le Pens are hardened fanatics.

But decades of pretending that only bigots care about immigration has only reinforced their political style.

As president, Macron made the right choice on immigration, not to weaken France’s historic position as an open, newcomer-friendly society, but to save it. He cracked down on some asylum seekers, demanded that immigrants learn French and get jobs, and took a hard line against Islamic separatism.

But he also tried to make France a more welcoming place for legal immigration.

The left considers him Le Pen light, the right – a helpless impostor. Maybe he is both. On the other hand, he also saved France for the free world.

The Democrats could brush up on their French.