Foundation research

Bidenvilles: the new American emblem of decadence

In French, a “bidonville” is a slum. A “can” is a large container, like the giant yellow bottles of vegetable oil used to transport drinking water in developing countries.

I saw plenty of slums in cities from India to Togo; they are an unfortunate consequence of rapid urbanization.

What surprised me when I returned to Washington, DC a few months ago was to see slums both outside the State Department, where my old office was, and inside Union Station, near my new office.

In America under President Joe Biden, the word “Bidenvilleis beginning to gain traction as a term for an unsanitary, trash-filled tent city inhabited by what the left calls “homeless people”, who often suffer from an unfortunate combination of drug addiction and mental illness.

Slums are not new to America. During the Great Depression they were ironically called Hoovervilles after President Herbert Hoover.

However, at that time, Hoovervilles included able-bodied people who were out of work due to the worst economic crisis and the highest unemployment rate in US history. Today, unemployment is low and entry-level jobs are begging. The Bidenvilles of today are filled more with ideology and incompetence than economic constraint.

The District of Columbia now has 97 “camp sites” scattered across the city. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons Rep. Andrew Clyde, R-Ga., calls the district a “disgrace to our country” and opposes the “house rules” the nation’s capital has enjoyed since 1973.

Neglect in the name of tolerance

As politicians squabble over whether to call camp residents ‘people experiencing homelessness’, ‘homeless people’ or ‘homeless people’, they are failing to make the hard choices needed to help .

To her credit, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, a Democrat, has attempted to clean up at least some sites despite opposition from activists whose sole purpose appears to be to entrench their patrons in misery in the name of freedom.

However, most mayors of cities such as San Francisco and the district is donating money to support the outdoor lifestyle of thousands of seriously ill people, including facilitating their drug use.

This not only creates a hostile environment for the locals whose tax dollars are funding the chaos, but it fails to address the root cause of the affliction so the homeless can escape the cycle that brings them to the streets in the first place.

Michael Shellenberger states in his book “San Fransicko: Why Progressives Are Ruining Cities“What homeless drug addicts need is a choice between mandatory drug treatment or prosecution for offenses such as public defecation and littering. But what they get is continued neglect in the name of tolerance.

The reason tent slums persist in even the wealthiest parts of America’s wealthiest cities, Shellenberger writes, is not a lack of money but misplaced compassion and political failure.

Border crisis hits home

Now the impact of crisis at our southern border faces the problem of homelessness and spill in the backyards of progressivesand they are not happy.

Alejandro Mayorkas’ Department of Homeland Security let 79,652 illegal immigrants into the United States last June alone after his agency, US Customs and Border Protection, briefly detained and ‘processed’ them. So far, since Biden’s inauguration in January 2021, Customs and Border Protection has captured and released more than 1.3 million illegal immigrants.

Illegal immigrants have gradually been arrival in Washington area since the Biden administration neutralized border enforcement. But with illegal crossings exceeding 200,000 per month, and half or more of those migrants being released and moved inwards, the number of newly arrived and needy illegal aliens is growing across the country. Some end up on the streets, compounding already serious problems of homelessness.

Bowser may be okay with the Biden administration’s open borders agenda, but she seems to struggle when the reality hits home in the neighborhood. Bowser complained that too many migrants are southern border bus and fill DC’s homeless shelters

“We think these are largely asylum seekers heading to final destinations other than Washington, DC,” the mayor said, obviously hoping they’ll become someone’s problem. other.

“Local ratepayers aren’t footing the bill and shouldn’t be footing it,” Bowser said. “We really need a coordinated federal response.”

The “swamp” solution

Americans couldn’t agree more. Unfortunately, when it comes to border and immigration enforcement, the federal government is absent while on duty.

Using Migrant Protection Protocols, Title 42, and other existing authorities, US Customs and Border Protection could stop the chaotic flow in no time. Instead, its parent agency, the Department of Homeland Security, abuses its parole power and recklessly relies on promises from illegal immigrants to show up for immigration hearings. It compounds negligence with wishful thinking.

According to a recent report in the Washington Free Beacon, the DHS lost track of thousands of illegal migrants. And among those officials released and monitored, at least a third did not respect the conditions of their release.

DHS data shows that only about 1 in 10 asylum seekers who pass ‘credible fear’ interviews at the border get asylum, mostly because they don’t ask at all or don’t bother. to follow the whole process. .

There “swampThe solution, of course, is to federalize and give more taxpayer dollars to the problem of homeless migrants.

DC Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, a Democrat, introduced an emergency appropriations bill July 19 that would provide additional funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s emergency food and shelter program . The funding would be for humanitarian assistance to migrants, whether they arrive by FEMA-funded plane, bus and train or are bussed through the states of Texas and Arizona.

If Norton’s measure passes, taxpayers would not only be responsible for lodging, food and medical care for illegal immigrants after crossing the border, followed by transportation to their preferred destination in the United States. Taxpayers would also pay to house and feed migrants once they arrive. It would be the ultimate (socialist) red carpet.

Norton, whose vote as a House delegate does not count, says “the governors of Texas and Arizona are exploiting and hurting vulnerable people fleeing desperate and dangerous situations in their home countries for political gain. “.

Start enforcing the law

But the truth is that these two border states have been shout for help” for months with no response from Washington. Now that the problem is in their backyards, Democrats are ready to act, if only to spend more money on it or toss it elsewhere.

However, despite the estimated expenditure $106,000 per homeless personSan Francisco still has about 8,000 on the streets.

Under Bowser, the District of Columbia has raised tens of millions more in taxes with the goal of ending homelessness in fiscal year 2022. However, from what we DC workers and residents can all see on the outside, that hasn’t happened yet. produced here either.

Homelessness is a thorny issue with no simple solution.

Meanwhile, the way to avoid more taxpayer-funded accommodation for homeless foreigners who are here illegally is simple: start enforcing the law, using the Migrant protection protocols, Title 42and other existing measures to shelter them safely out of the country until their case can be properly considered.

Without that commitment, more Bidenvilles are coming to a city near you.

This piece originally appeared in The daily signal