Trump: Column headed toward US border is a "national emergency". Will cut foreign aid to countries
Two weeks away from the mid-term elections and a very strange thing is happening in Mexico. Thousands of people from Central America are walking up to the US border and presumably will try to cross into the United States soon (right before the election), forcing the immigration issue and creating photo opportunities.
These sort of things don’t just happen. They are usually coordinated. The “women's march” didn’t just sprout from the grass roots, it was funded by George Soros and like minded people. Likewise it’s reasonable to wonder how it is that this group of migrants, a marching column of mostly young men, sorry it is, is being helped logistically.
And we hope that is indeed the case. But the timing is pretty suspect.
It seems little in the news just “happens” anymore. There seems a constant fight for the narrative. Trump and his allies versus the Media Matters guys who used* to work for Obama and company. There is a non-stop effort to spin and to manipulate everything in the news these days.
To some degree this has always been the case, but it is especially true now. There is full on pitched battle for eyes and hearts of the American people. So a caravan, or as some have said an “army” of immigrants headed toward the border just in time to force a crisis before the election should raise some eyebrows.
How any confrontation at the border will go is really anyone’s guess however. We can only expect that Beto O’Rourke will pose with people poised to come over the border in the background, earnestly explaining why it is that Trump is a monster for denying these people’s simple effort to breathe free and find work.
And the thing is some of these people really do want to just breathe free and find work. I’ve known lots of people from central America over the years. I’ve been to Central America. I stayed with friends in their home far from Gringoland and Resortville. I speak Spanish. As far as I’m concerned mi casa es su casa (and we have a sign that says so) if you are invited to my home. But if you burst through the door uninvited, particularly in an effort to cause trouble for me, I might not be so nice. And that’s kind of what it feels like is going on in Mexico now.
This is a profoundly difficult issue for many Americans, including your editor. We are, as the cliche goes, a nation of immigrants. And as far as I’m concerned if the current situation along the border was purely a human capital issue, that is people crossing the border just to take available jobs, I would have little problem with anyone sprinting across the Arizona desert from Mexico and toward opportunity.
But that is not entirely the situation. Our welfare state entices people across the border. In addition to the opportunities which may be found in the fields and roofs of America it is undeniable that the welfare state is also sometimes exploited by people who come here illegally. However, it is not illegal immigrants who are driving our mammoth welfare state by any means. In fact The Cato Institute found that illegal immigrants tended to take less out of the welfare system than native born Americans on welfare per capita. Even still, Cato makes a reasonable policy suggestion at the end of the above linked article because the welfare state is an enticement.
Building expensive walls around the country, cutting legal immigration, or putting more faith in government technology to stop illegal immigration are fool’s errands. Reducing immigrant access to welfare and cutting the size of benefits are, by contrast, achievable and popular policies.
As they say this feels like a “no brainer”. Of course we should do this. But there are some who refuse to even consider such an idea. Heck, there are some people who think non-citizens should VOTE. And here is the main rub. Non citizens voting is a ridiculous proposal and it is seen as such by (likely) most Americans. But it is a proposal that has gained some ground in parts of the USA. In the face of such radical, obviously politically driven proposals, many Americans, perfectly aware of their own immigrant backgrounds, throw up their hands in desperation and call for a wall along the southern border.
They feel they have little choice.
Additionally the drug war also entices people al las Estados Unidos. There are vast profits to be made hustling drugs across the border because we have instituted the draconian system of prohibition we have over the last 45 years. There is big money to be made in El Norte. A couple of kilos (of almost any drug) can buy a house in Guatemala.
So what then to do?
The answer isn’t clear but it lay somewhere between just opening up the border completely and turning people away at the point of a gun and bayonet.
Unfortunately however some people in this country want to push the immigration issue for their own political reasons and actually want chaos.
But organized chaos. Ahem.