Veterans Day 2021. We’ve come a considerable way in the last five decades. It is no longer fashionable in woke circles to openly disparage those who served their country in the military.
But talk is cheap, very cheap.
The secretary of Veterans Affairs is making good on his promise to find shelter for fifty homeless vets camped at Veterans Row in West Los Angeles. In the last six months, there have been two homicides in the encampment. A resident reports that he has suffered eight assaults.
Fifty down. Another 10,000 homeless vets to go in Los Angeles, 27,000 nationwide. It’s a start.
But this homeless camp was just outside a Veterans Administration campus in the upscale Brentwood area. Don’t hold your breath while waiting for similar actions in less noticeable enclaves.
On other occasions, Biden has been able to find and spend money for shelter and housing — lots of it, just not for veterans. In March, the Biden administration signed a six-month contract for $86 million to house 1,200 migrant family members in Texas and Arizona. That’s $72,000 per migrant for half a year. Keep in mind that $86 million is just the beginning, as the contract “could be extended and expanded.”
Why does the administration spend tens of millions of dollars on hotels? ICE has its own family residential centers — “rapid-processing centers with the goal of releasing families within 72 hours” — but they were full, overwhelmed by the border surge Biden created with his invitation for migrants to break our immigration laws.
The $86 million for six months is just the tip of the iceberg. Biden has run a series of clandestine flights to ferry illegal migrants into the interior of the United States where they are housed, then released, far away from the television cameras that might highlight a messy, and politically embarrassing, situation at the border. We will probably never have a true accounting of the costs of his “come on in, the border is open” policy.
In the meantime, Biden is finding shelter for fifty homeless vets in Los Angeles. Hurray.
It gets worse. The Wall Street Journal reported that the Biden administration is considering paying half a million dollars per person to illegal immigrants who were separated from their families at the southern border during the Trump administration. The payments of $450,000 per person, around $1 million per family, would settle lawsuits filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and other firms.
How did they arrive at that figure? Perhaps they looked at the $100,000 death gratuity given to the families of soldiers who die while on active duty. They figured that the inconvenience and trauma of a temporary family separation is worth several times that and bumped it up accordingly. The lawyers get rich; illegal immigrants get hotels and a free pass to ignore our laws; 27,000 homeless veterans lack shelter.
Of course, Biden only opposes family separations when it is politically expedient. His policies lead to family separation. The invitation to ignore our laws leads migrants to abandon their families and come here. The non-enforcement policy encourages parents to send a child with a trafficker to establish a foothold in the U.S. The many who die en route—for example, the thirteen killed in an SUV crash at the U.S.-Mexico border—were permanently separated from their families, but that is just collateral damage.
To those who served their nation, it is shocking to see Biden’s disregard for its borders.
My father served. My mother served. I served. As a veteran, I think it is a sacrilege that the Biden administration is spending taxpayer dollars on hotels for, and payments to, illegal immigrants.
Our nation should provide housing for those who served their country, not hotels for those who broke into it.