There’s a Solution to the Migrant Crisis — Unfortunately it Will Never Happen

Family Separation is New Solution to An Old Problem

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Migrant children detained at a shelter in 2014. (Eric Gay-Pool)

By Manny Otiko

Eddie Izzard, the famously cerebral British comedian, once asked an American audience, “Do you realize there are other countries?”

It’s not far from the truth. Americans tend to be largely ignorant of international affairs, or the fact that what’s going on in the world affects their country. And that’s the case with the migrant crisis which is ongoing on our southern border.

I’ve lived in this country for more than a quarter of a century and there’s always been a immigration problem on the southern border. The problem has been going on longer than that. In the 1954, the Eisenhower administration came up with a program called “Operation Wetback,” which rounded up migrants workers and sent them back to Mexico. (Of course, they accidentally arrested some U.S. citizens too.)

President Donald Trump has decided to come up with his own version of that operation, which has exposed a largely self-generated problem. Migration from Central America is always going to be a problem, as long as America is wealthy and stable, and those countries are chaotic.

Here are some facts:

However, there is a solution to this problem. To fix the migration crisis, the United States, would have to provide military and financial support to stabilize these countries and also build their economies. Of course that’s not going to happen. I don’t see the American public signing off on funding development projects or loans to stabilize countries on our border. And with Trump talking of pulling American troops out of Germany and S. Korea, I don’t see him giving the green light to committing forces to Central America.

This would also require diplomacy, the fine art of government officials sitting down and actually talking to each other. It’s not sexy, but it works. However, the Trump administration’s view of diplomacy is “We’re America, bitch.”

But Trump’s family policy gins up his racist base and send billions of federal dollars to private companies who imprison, house and feed migrants. These contractors tend to live by what I call the “Hate the government, love the government check” motto. According to Vox, the Office of Refugee Resettlement received $1.3 billion from Congress this year. And Southwest Key Programs, a non-profit organization which has 12 immigrant child shelters, will receive close to half a billion dollars from the government this year.

In 50 years time our grandchildren will still be complaining about migrants from Central America. Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

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Manny Otiko writes about race, politics and sports. He has been published in Salon and LA Weekly. Follow him on Twitter @mannyotiko.

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