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.