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Monday, August 7, 2017

Mexico's Migrant Problem

For John, BLUFWhat we lack is a consensus in the United States with regard to what we want from immigration.  What IS the American position?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is from The International New York Times, by Reporter Kirk Temple, on 5 August 2017.

It seems that before President Trump started talking about building a Wall, Mexico was already getting tough on illegal immigrants and also refugees.  Some suggest this is from weaknesses in the Mexican immigration process and the organization executing the policy, "the National Migration Institute, Mexico’s immigration enforcement agency, and the Mexican Commission for Refugee Assistance, or Comar, the department that processes asylum petitions.? Here is an excerpt of two paragraphs:

These weaknesses are particularly glaring, advocates say, as some legislators in Washington push for a legal change that would require migrants to apply for asylum in Mexico if they reached the United States by traveling through it.  A bill pending in Congress “would allow the return of apprehended Central American refugees to Mexico, where they could apply for protection,” without the need for a bilateral agreement with Mexico, according to a summary from the House Judiciary Committee, which approved the bill last month.

Such changes “would undermine U.S. global leadership and violate American legal commitments, even if Mexico had a strong refugee protection system,” said a report published last month by Human Rights First.  “They are all the more dangerous because Mexico doesn’t.”

And here is Mexico's problem summed up:
Though the vast majority of northbound migrants from Central America still regard Mexico as a transit corridor to the United States, the country has increasingly become an attractive destination in its own right.
So, per The Old Gray Lady, it is all our fault here in the United States, because we are not accepting these economic refugees and also those fleeing violence and crime in their own nations.

I posted this article on another forum and did get this comment, off line, from a serving officer I know:

I'm reading your note on a wet afternoon aboard Soto Cano Airbase in Honduras.  I agree that we in the US aren't responsible for all of the crime and violence in Central America's Northern Triangle (Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador).  We are, however, responsible for some of it.  Our inability to limit the increase in demand for drugs (let alone stop or reduce it) in any meaningful way creates a massive economic incentive for criminal industry along our southern approaches.  In size, capital, and organization, the illegal drug industry dwarfs the capacity, capability, and desire of national and local governments to resist.
That is spot on.

This person then goes on:

Further, the street gang infestation that plagues these three countries (the so-called maras) was born in the US.  MS-13 and Barrio-18 were initially defensive organizations that Central American immigrants in Los Angeles' Rampart neighborhood created during the height of the 1980s gang warfare to resist the depredations of the Bloods, Crips, and Latin Kings.  We found, arrested, and deported these gang members to the Northern Triangle nations.  The effect was similar to exporting an aggressive, invasive species into an ecosystem in which it had no natural predators.
So, the immigration issue impacts the US, in many ways, big and small.  That said, taking the view that immigrants, legal and illegal, are all just universal believers in American values and should be given a driver's license, a SSAN and registered to vote seems to be both ignorant and short sighted.  While President Trump has disrupted the flow of illegal immigrants, even before the wall, more needs to be done to fix our immigration policies and laws.  And we need to work with Mexico and Canada on this.

Regards  —  Cliff

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