Chris Roemer: Migrants crossing the border play us for suckers | COMMENTARY

Thank you for supporting our journalism. This article is available exclusively for our subscribers, who help fund our work at The Baltimore Sun.

I saw news footage recently of migrants getting off a bus in New York City, cameras rolling, their fists held high in celebration. One of the migrants reached for cash being offered by someone in the crowd gathered to greet them. The migrants were quickly ushered to shelters where presumably they were enrolled in every welfare benefit available to people in this country illegally to help ease their transition to life in America.

Unfortunately, like other big city progressive mayors who embrace the sanctuary city designation, Eric Adams only wants to virtue signal about what he says is America’s obligation to assist those crossing the southern border illegally. He doesn’t want to actually do anything to help the migrants. That’s someone else’s problem.


Mayor Adams may not welcome the migrants’ presence in his city, but you wouldn’t know it by the greeting this busload of people received when they arrived in New York. Honestly, if one didn’t know any better, it would be easy to conclude the footage was of a victorious football team returning home after winning the Super Bowl.

Migrants who crossed the border from Mexico into Texas exit a bus as it arrives into the Port Authority bus station in Manhattan on Aug. 25, 2022, in New York. Numerous buses from Texas filled with migrants have arrived in New York City every few days since early August as Texas Gov. Greg Abbott continues to be at odds with New York City Mayor Eric Adams about border...

I wonder what impact these images have when they are seen by others still at home south of the border and considering whether or not they should risk a trip to the United States?


My Aunt Maria was born and raised in Costa Rica. After years of filling out forms, paying large fees, meeting with government officials, studying for her citizen test, and waiting her turn, she became an American citizen. It was one of the proudest days of her life.

Aunt Maria, now in her sixties, lives in Florida, not far from Orlando, where she has many Hispanic friends and acquaintances. She also works with the public, which affords her insight into the thinking of Florida’s Spanish-speaking community. Aunt Maria will tell you that community is incredulous when it sees America’s attitude toward the current stream of migrants crossing the border.

They simply cannot believe the United States is willing to throw so much money at these folks. Not only are the migrants allowed to stay in the country, we make it financially possible for them to live relatively comfortable lives.

Aunt Maria will tell you, and what surprises Hispanics most, though, is the U.S. government’s willingness to offer illegal migrants benefits that are not even available to American citizens, and that we prioritize the need of migrants ahead of the needs of our own people.

America’s homeless are particularly perplexing for them. They look at the growing number of dispossessed outcasts living on the streets and wonder why the money being given to migrants isn’t instead used to help them.

Aunt Maria will tell you bluntly, many migrants and Florida’s Hispanic community generally, think Americans are a bunch of suckers. Yet if we’re willing to throw money at them, they’re perfectly willing to accept it.

The word is out. Come to America. Sure, there are grave risks getting here, but if you make it, the benefits you’ll receive upon entering the United States are almost beyond belief. It’s just too good to resist.

Millions of people see a window of opportunity to gain entry into the United States. There is no need to wait in line and do it legally. All you have to do is somehow make it to the southern border, and you’re in, and that’s exactly what’s happening, no matter how often President Biden and those who speak on his behalf lie about it.


An entire industry has blossomed to facilitate the flow of people north. America has put out the welcome mat, and the drug cartels are taking full advantage of the chaos.

Not only are the cartels paid for their trouble, once here many migrants remain beholden to them for years. Cartel members are also quite happy to exploit their position to sexually abuse woman and children along the way. With ICE overwhelmed by the sheer number of people entering the country illegally, it is much easier for the cartels to smuggle in the Fentynal and other drugs, which are killing our children by the thousands.

Trump tried to deal with the problem by building a wall and warning countries complicit in the flow north of migrants that they would be held accountable and pay a price if they didn’t take steps to stop it. Despite Democrats fighting him every step of the way, his efforts worked, and the number of people entering the country illegally dropped dramatically.

What, exactly, has Biden done?

I’m not sure he’s done anything. The number of people seeking to cross the southern border illegally this year has topped two million. That’s already an annual record, and there are still several months left in the year. If Biden is doing anything, it doesn’t seem to be working. I suspect that’s by design.

To his credit, Biden recently decided it would be a good idea to finish a section of Trump’s border wall. It seems the president is now concerned people from around the world are taking advantage of the fact construction of the wall was never completed and are slipping into the country unawares. Some of these people might not be the kind of individuals we really want here. You know, people with known ties to terrorist organizations, sexual predators, that kind of thing.


Unfortunately, President Biden’s press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, felt the need to assert Biden is not building a wall, he is just “cleaning up the mess the prior administration made.”

I have no problem with Biden’s newfound grasp of the obvious. What’s irksome is his refusal to admit he was wrong in the first place. Why can’t he just say it? A wall isn’t racist. A wall isn’t immoral. A wall is necessary if we are to control who is coming into the country. Instead, the administration feels the need to lie about having to clean up a mess left by the former president.

It seems to me the only people satisfied with the status quo are progressives like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilan Omar, and their merry band of unruly children, whose attitude toward illegal immigration is the more the merrier. These feather brains have the president in a bind. He needs their votes for other things, and the feather brains know it.

So, nothing gets done, and the flood of migrants, and drugs, and criminals, and people who are a threat to our national security continues unabated.

Maybe we really are a bunch of suckers.

Chris Roemer is a retired banker and educator who resides in Finksburg. He can be contacted at