There’s a Solution to the Migrant Crisis — Unfortunately it Will Never Happen
Family Separation is New Solution to An Old Problem
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:
- Migration to America across the southern border is actually going down. After the economy tanked in 2007 many immigrants lost their jobs and decided they’d rather be broke at home with their families. And President Barack Obama built such an effective migrant expulsion machine he became known as the “Deporter-in-Chief.” According to figures from the Border Patrol, migration from south of the border was 1.6 million in 2000. By 2016 than figured had dropped to about 300,000.
- President Trump claims that America is being terrorized by MS-13, but there are actually more MS-13 members outside the U.S. than there are here. An FBI assessment estimated there were 10,000 members in the United States and about 30,000 members outside the country. In the 1990s, the government made it a policy to deport gang members back to their home countries. Back home, they started warring with local gang members, causing even more migration, which indicates the circular nature of this problem. By the way, MS-13 was established in Los Angeles, by El Salvadoran immigrants who had fled political violence motivated by the U.S.’ support of right-wing military governments in the ’80s. Also, MS-13 tends to prey on immigrant communities, so if you’re living in a gated community, chances are you’ll be killed by Chip with the AR-15, rather than Miguel, the gang member.
- The Mexican drug war is being funded by cartels who have grown rich and powerful from the profits of selling narcotics to America, the world’s largest drug market. They use these profits to buy more guns — from America.
- As long as poverty and violence are problems, people are going to flee those countries. I’n Honduras 66 percent of the population lives below the poverty line, according to the World Bank. Los Cabos, Mexico has the highest murder rate in the world. The migrants are taking a gamble on their lives when they head north on an arduous journey. And as one of my friends said, if you have a 90 percent chance of seeing your child killed or a 50–50 chance of getting into America, you’re going to roll the dice and head for the border.
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.