The Biden administration’s decision to build 20 more miles of Donald Trump’s border wall has “both sides of the political aisle howling”, says Mary O’Grady in The Wall Street Journal. Biden himself admits he doesn’t think it will work, but his Homeland Security Secretary argues that the Rio Grande Valley in Texas is so vulnerable to “unlawful entry” that there’s an “acute and immediate need to construct physical barriers”. So that’s what they’re doing. It reminds me of Winston Churchill’s observation that “Americans will always do the right thing, after having exhausted all the alternatives”. Extending Trump’s wall is merely the latest bad alternative.
What is the “right thing” to do, then? It’s to embark on a grand US-led growth programme for South and Central America. Open markets, sound money, the rule of law, light tax and regulation – all this was once “standard US advice for the neighbours”. Today, both Democrats and Republicans are protectionists. That’s bad enough, but under Biden, US foreign policy has also fallen under the spell of the far left: “LGBT initiatives, income equality, labour activism and the end of fossil fuels” are all top priorities. “Profit is a dirty word.” Having abdicated free-market leadership, America is now faced with a choice between “pulling up the drawbridge” or accepting the “human tsunami crashing on US shores”. Both options are nightmares. Economic freedom and development are the “only humane solutions to the poverty driving these huddled masses”.