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Every president has a legacy for better or worse. It may be that President Biden’s is being erected right now with tent poles across the country. Little encampments built for illegal immigrants pouring across the southern border are popping up like weeds through the sidewalk. We should name them what they really are, Bidenvilles.  

Tent cities are opening across New York, a new feature in our urban landscape, but not one without historical precedent. 

In the 1930s, as the Great Depression sank Americans’ bank accounts and spirits, shanty towns were assembled far and wide to accommodate the victims of the economic disaster. And the people of that time had the good sense to put the blame right where it belonged, on their government, specifically former President Herbert Hoover. 

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Hoovervilles became a symbol not just of government failure, but of popular resistance to an incompetent, elite class that crashed the markets and all-but destroyed the country. Sound familiar?  

A bed is seen in the dormitory during a tour of the Randall’s Island Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Center on Oct. 18, 2022 in New York City. 
(Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

There are rich historical arguments as to Hoover’s handling of the depression, but to the voters of the time he appeared to either be blind to their suffering, or to just not care. They saw him doing next to nothing. How else can we describe Biden’s attitude to the crisis on the southern border?  

The president can’t even be bothered to visit the southern border, nor can his appointed border czar, Vice President Kamala Harris. They’ve ignored it for almost two years, but when a mere busload of migrants arrived in Martha’s Vineyard, it was suddenly a national emergency. Of course, the heroic citizens of the Vineyard didn’t actually house the migrants, they evicted them to an army base as soon as possible. 

The migrants are coming north now, sometimes by secretive federal flights, sometimes by frustrated border governors and sometimes by their own devices. Now, sanctuary cities like New York have an obligation to house them; in many cases, Bidenvilles are the only and best option.  

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Even Democrats like New York City Mayor Eric Adams and New York Governor Kathy Hochul have criticized Biden’s inaction. But you do have to wonder what they thought being a sanctuary city actually meant if not housing migrants. It’s like inviting people to a long-distance wedding under the assumption they can’t come, and you just get gifts in the mail. Except they are coming. A lot of them. So where do we put them?  

Bidenvilles.  

There didn’t have to be Bidenvilles. For four years the Trump administration brought to bear policies like “remain in Mexico” and barrier construction and was stemming the tide. Most importantly these measures sent a message that you can’t just mosey on into America, you might not get in. The Biden administration, despite its occasional whispering that migrants shouldn’t come, shows by its actions and inactions a huge open door.  

Beds are seen in the dormitory during a tour of the Randall's Island Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Center on Oct. 18, 2022, in New York City. The construction of the relief centers began after NYC Mayor Eric Adams, who declared a state of emergency due to continued arrivals of migrants, announced their relocation to Randall's Island from Orchard Beach in the Bronx after concerns about flooding. The tent-like structures will provide temporary housing to 500 asylum seekers that are being bused into the city by governors from border states. 

Beds are seen in the dormitory during a tour of the Randall’s Island Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Center on Oct. 18, 2022, in New York City. The construction of the relief centers began after NYC Mayor Eric Adams, who declared a state of emergency due to continued arrivals of migrants, announced their relocation to Randall’s Island from Orchard Beach in the Bronx after concerns about flooding. The tent-like structures will provide temporary housing to 500 asylum seekers that are being bused into the city by governors from border states. 
(Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

If as the Biden administration claims the border is secure and everything is going as planned, then why shouldn’t the president be honored to have these tent cities dedicated to him? Right now, all he has is a rest stop in Delaware on I-95.  

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Murders by illegal immigrants have not been enough to move Biden to act, nor have a fentynyl crisis, human trafficking, members of the terror watch list, or the whole host of horribles that come with a wide-open border. Maybe mockery will move him. Maybe knowing that, like Hoover, his legacy is a shoddy lean-to of his own making will convince him to do something.  

If he does not act, be prepared to see Bidenvilles coming to your neck of the woods sooner rather than later. You’ll see your local resources drained like cold bath water because Biden can’t secure the border. You never solve a crisis by ignoring it, it always gets worse, and Bidenvilles are just the latest example of how bad things can get if we do not control who comes into our country and how. 

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