Sunday, November 25, 2018

Send 'Em South

It should surprise nobody who studies recent history of South America that Argentina is the economic powerhouse of the continent.  What is surprising is that Chile is bidding  fair to catch up to it.  As a result, according to "The Economist", 11/4/18, "Chile has become a magnet for migrants.  From 2007 to 2015 the number of immigrants living in Chile increased by 143% to 465,000 people, about 2.7% of the population."  Not that Argentina is slipping behind.  As the Migration Policy Institute notes, "Argentina's strong demand for predominantly unskilled, low-wage labor ensures its role as a regional immigration hub."  More, both Chile and Argentina want agricultural workers to help develop their southern provinces, which have always been underpopulated.

This being so, we might wonder why all those Central American refugees keep pouring north to the US and Canada rather than south to Chile and Argentina, where the people at least speak the same language and share much of the same culture.

Part of it, we can assume, is a physical barrier;  it's much easier to wade across the Rio Grande than to swim across the Panama Canal --even though the Canal does have bridges and ferries.  Another part is simply advertising;  everybody knows that the US is the richest country in the world, and the promise of assured steady work can't hold a candle to the lure of possibly striking it rich. 

And there's also a political consideration;  groups like Pueblo Sin Frontieras have raised considerable amounts of money to fund -- and advertise -- caravans and guides taking migrants across the US border.  The drug cartels plaguing Central America also fund "Coyotes" who smuggle migrants, as well as drug shipments, across the border or under it to supply their assorted business enterprises in the US.  Still other political groups funding, supplying, and assisting the migrants -- according to no less than President Hernandez of Honduras -- include government agents of Cuba and Venezuela, whose intention is to collapse the US immigration system and give themselves easy access to the US.  Still other supporters of the Coyotes an the caravans include wealthy Democrat donors, who clearly want the migrants to get into the US and vote Democrat.  No doubt they also hope for more media coverage, and juicy videos of Children Torn From Their Mothers' (or at least women who claim to be their mothers) Arms in order to make more Public Outcry against President Trump.  None of this is in the best interests of the migrants or the US.

So what's the solution, for the US anyway?  First, Congress must pass a ten-year moratorium on all immigration into the US.  Make it law, and enforce it  -- with more ICE agents or with those already-stationed troops.  Nobody gets in.  Period.

Second, for all those people requesting "asylum", give them a compassionate hearing, and then a compassionate one-way plane ticket to Chile or Argentina, where they'll be far distant and safe from the cartels and gangs in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador -- and where they'll be welcomed by governments and corporations who'll be happy to  have them.  The US could also use that "foreign aid" money that we've been paying to the likes of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras -- and possibly even Mexico -- and use it to bribe Chile and Argentina to take in even more poor asylum-seeking refugees from Central America.  This would be a winner for all concerned.  Chile and Argentina would get the laborers (and money) to develop those southern agricultural and fishing areas, the refugees get safety and guaranteed jobs -- and possibly the free education for their families to become more than unskilled labor, and the US stops having its border overrun with invaders.

--Leslie <;)))><           


Technomad said...

I've thought for years that deporting all our illegals to Tierra del Fuego (which is shared between Chile and Argentina) would be a great idea. The Chileno and Argentino governments want that area to be more populated; it's already Spanish-speaking, and has few people. Win-win-win all the way around!

Just round 'em up, stuff them aboard rickety old freighters that have maybe one or two good voyages left in 'em, and land them in some lonely cove. Let's see them get back to the US from there!

Unknown said...

Hi, Leslie. Long-time fan of your music here (Sister Jenny, Jefferson and Liberty, Serious Steel, and The Day It Fell Apart are among my favourites, though I could easily fill a few mp3 players with songs of yours which I have come to love). A big part of the reason that so many are coming here is one thing that you touched upon in your post, and one thing you did not. The areas which Chile and Argentina wish to develop are largely rural and -as you said- undeveloped. As such, there is very little in the way of infrastructure- roads, schools, electrical grid access, municipal water and sewer systems, medical facilities, etc. These countries also do not offer the same social services that the "migrants" can receive from the US. As you mentioned, the Democratic party would love to see all of these individuals freely admitted to the US, offered a blanket amnesty, and registered to vote Democratic, and would gladly offer generous social-assistance packages to ensure the loyalties of these newly-minted Americans. The problem is complex, and will require a solution beyond a simple moratorium and a sealed border, which at this point is sutures on a sucking chest wound. However, coupled with effective enforcement of existing laws and penalties for any company caught employing illegal immigrants, mandatory deportation for any illegal immigrants detained by police, along with any undocumented members of their families, and an end to "birthright citizenship" unless one or both parents are citizens, it is a start.

Leslie Fish said...

Hi, Unk. Glad you like my stuff. Hopefully I'll get another album out within the year. Anyhow, I suspect that Argentina and Chile could be encouraged -- with a little "foreign aid" money -- to hire those migrants to build that infrastructure: a sort of WPA system rather than American-style Welfare.

For that matter, the US could use a revival of the WPA and CCC (with a lot less bureaucracy than the originals) to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure and hire all the unemployed citizens we already have, thank you. Democrats glibly forget that the US has the *third-largest population in the world*, and the last thing we need is more population -- even if it does vote Democrat.

I also think we should revive those old American laws prescribing "exile" as a common felony punishment rather than prison. We could exile all those Latino crooks to Chile, all the African ones to Haiti, and all the Muslim ones to... Mecca! Then we'd just need to decently fortify our borders, but we have to do that anyway.

Paradoctor said...

You'd need agreement from Chile and Argentina. They'll demand payment. So how much are you willing to spend on this program? There is no free lunch.

Technomad said...

Paradoctor: It'd be cheaper than the wall, and cheaper than taking them in.

Leslie Fish said...

How much $$ in "foreign aid" did we waste last year on Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador? Use those bucks to bribe Chile and Argentina. That way, we'd at least get something useful for our money.

BTW, part of the Wall is already built. The trick is getting the money to finish it. The trick with the Indian lands will be to give the Tohono O'odam the materials, machinery and operators to put the Wall where they want it. I don't doubt they'll manage to cut a good chunk out of Mexico. In any case, the Wall's success will depend on how well it's patrolled -- and we can trust the Indians to do their fair share of that.

Paradoctor said...

All right then, call this policy, openly negotiate a price per migrant, and stick to it.

Foreign aid is never altruism; there's always some quid pro quo, stated or not.

What if the Tohono O'odam want to build a wall all around themselves? Will they get Federal support for that?

Leslie Fish said...

*Snicker* The Navaho, cut themselves off from the US and all that casino money? Heheheheh. Not very likely. But to wall a chunk off from Mexico? Ah, that's another matter. The Pueblo nation tribes have *hated* Mexico and all that comes out of it since about 1200 AD, for good reason. Long story, but I wrote a song about it.

Miss. Love said...
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