Border woes will only worsen

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President Biden ought to make a surprise Christmas Day visit to the border.

No, not the Ukrainian border with Russia, or the borders of Libya, Tunisia, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt and Oman — all of which receive millions in U.S. border security money — but the U.S. southern border in Texas, which doesn’t receive anything.

If Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelenskyy, who was at the White House Wednesday, can visit his troops in the besieged front-line city of Bakhmut, on the border with Russia, surely Biden can visit his troops in besieged El Paso, which is on the front line with Mexico.

Zelenskyy, who is half Biden’s age, could teach Biden a thing or two about leadership.

Zelenskyy, at the White House, had to smile, for instance, at the memory of Biden offering to rescue him from Kyiv upon the Russian invasion — as though he would cut and run like Biden did in Afghanistan — or of Gen. Mark Milley, Biden’s top general, predicting that Kyiv would fall in a weekend.

It is all to the good that Biden welcomed Zelenskyy to Washington. He is a courageous and inspirational leader who deserves help.

But Zelenskyy was going to get most of what he wanted in military and humanitarian assistance anyway, whether he came to Washington or not.

It is in the U.S. interest, as well as the interest of NATO and the west, that Zelenskyy defend his country against Vladimir Putin’s criminal invasion.

So, a happy Zelenskyy returned to Kyiv with bags of U.S. money

Meanwhile, it is Texas that is getting screwed.

So, it might also have been good had Biden invited Texas Gov. Greg Abbot to the White House. Like Ukraine, Texas, along with other border states, has also been invaded.

But that was not about to happen, not after publication of a letter Abbott sent to the president Tuesday, blaming him personally for the crisis at the border, which will worsen this weekend as the weather turns bitterly cold and migrants are sleeping in the streets of El Paso and elsewhere.

Abbott said that Texas communities without federal assistance were ill-equipped to deal with the overwhelming number of immigrants crossing the border.

“You and your administration must stop the lie that the border is secure, and instead immediately deploy federal assets to address the dire problems you have caused,” Abbott wrote.

Abbott added, “Your policies will leave many people in the bitter, dangerous cold as a polar vortex moves into Texas. This terrible crisis for border communities in Texas is a catastrophe of your own making.”

Immigrants, Abbott said, “are at risk of freezing to death on city streets.”

Biden, so far, has balked at helping Abbott or Texas. To do so Biden might have to admit that he is responsible for the humanitarian disaster taking place at the grief-ridden border, let alone be accountable for the influx of deadly fentanyl from China that is ravaging the country.

This is an administration that, despite all evidence to the contrary, has insisted that the border is closed and secure. So, you either believe Biden or your lying eyes.

Biden has never visited the border or talked to any of the millions of illegal immigrants he has waved into the country. Nor has he spoken with any of the U.S. Border Patrol agents, sheriffs, or other law enforcement personnel along the border.

While he brags about how often he speaks with Zelenskyy, Biden does not even talk to Abbott.

Of course, a Christmas trip to El Paso or Eagle Pass on such short notice would be challenging, if not out of the question.

Also, adding difficulty to such a bold move is the fact that unlike Zelenskyy, who wholeheartedly supports his troops, and they him, Biden long ago abandoned the U.S. Border Patrol agents and other law enforcement personnel.

To them, Joe Biden is the commander in grief, not the commander in chief.

But Merry Christmas, anyway.

Peter Lucas is a veteran Massachusetts political reporter and columnist.

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