We all saw the videos and the photos. American authorities opened up with pepper spray, CA canisters, and possibly rubber bullets. There is at least one video showing a few desperate people throwing rocks before that happened. A local reporter and her Photog captured that. This is not about whether US authorities were justified. There is a slew of international laws that were possibly violated. This is about something else. Why are we here? Why are we in the midst of an artificial crisis at the border?
The answer is hardly simple. The first proximal cause is that the immediate crisis reinforces the president’s base that shares his fears, nativism, and paranoia. No, five thousand people are not going to change the nature of the United States. And for a second I am going to pretend everybody qualifies for refugee status. In normal circumstances, the US still rejects many from Central America, but these are not normal. However, that demographics train left the station a few decades ago. So unless you round up millions of American citizens, some who have been living on this land since before there was the United States, and throw them across the border, the country will still become a majority-minority country in my lifetime. Incidentally, that would be ethnic cleansing, perhaps genocide, so we are clear. It is considered a crime against humanity in case you think it is a-ok. We even tried people for that after World War Two at Nuremberg. I know that this. would not bother a few in the president’s base. How many it is a good question, and one I hope we never answer. Some are looking forward to that race war. However, these people are symbolic of the fear, hate, and loathing in DC.
The far right sees Donald Trump as the last great hope to change the course of this demographic change. Trump embraced them. He believes that migration practices that actually follow American and International law are not right and should be ignored. This is what rogue nations do. He wants, and I believe he will do it in the end, to completely shut down the border with Mexico. The fact that this will trigger an economic crisis in the United States (and Mexico, but let’s be honest he cares not about that) is immaterial. He will find somebody to blame for that. He will never take responsibility for anything he does. Cue in, but Obama! On his Twitter feed. Many in his base are too blinded by racism to understand that either. So they will blame Mexico for it as well. I am willing to lay good odds on that one.
This crisis is artificial because asylum is an international right recognized under US law. Many of these migrants want to come to the United States because they have family already here. However, about half are now staying in Mexico. Some are asking for refuge in Canada. How they will get from Mexico City to Canada, I suppose a plane ride. So I am guessing sponsors will be involved
But we need a Marshall Plan!
First off, people who say that are willfully ignorant of both historic and present conditions. After the Central American Free Trade Agreement was implemented, foreign direct investment (FDI) went through the roof. Reaching a high ceiling in 2011
Despite an international context characterized by stronger growth in the global economy, abundant international liquidity, high corporate returns and optimism in financial markets, the flows of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Latin America and the Caribbean — on average, and with great heterogeneity within the region — fell for the third year in a row in 2017 to total $161.673 billion dollars, down 3.6% from the previous year and 20% below the level reached in 2011.
A lot of it, as per the last 100 years, came from American corporations. Also, as the last 100 years, there was an implied promise to protect those interests. This is why American Marines went into Nicaragua in the 1920s. This is why the Obama administration looked the other way in 2009 when there was a right-wing coup in Honduras.
We have done our level best to protect their kleptocrats, who in turn protect our corporate interests. What is a genocide or two between friends? There is money to be made, damn it!
DFI has not tricked down as it were. The level of deep grinding poverty, if anything, has gotten worst. With CAFTA many people have moved to the cities where there is no work, or very little. And then there is the war on drugs and the gangs.
Before you say it, MS13 is an American export. It happened in the 1980s and 90s. It is a direct consequence of the Central American wars of the Reagan years. We deported people who created that gang in Los Angeles due to local conditions in the hood. They had to contend with other American gangs like the Bloods and the Crips. You may not remember the gang wars, but people in South East LA do. Oh, that was also the time the CIA was bringing cocaine into Los Angeles to partially fund Iran-Contra. Regardless, MS13 never disappeared from the United States.
In El Salvador some of those deportees reformed the gang, and as they say the rest is history. The war on drugs, human trafficking and less than professional law enforcement and criminal system were the perfect witches brew for that. They not only took over large areas of San Salvador but exported the brand, if not the leadership, to all of Central and North America.
These gangs, it is not just MS13, have taken control of large swaths of Central American cities. The people who live there have a choice, join or die. This is why the United Nations recognized these people as part of a refugee flow.
So what we are facing is a crisis that has been made worst. Our fears are coming together with classic blowback. And we have the least capable, or willing, President in the White House.
So while you are properly horrified by children getting gassed, asking why matters. It is time we ask that question. Because this is not going to stop until there are structural changes. And I have not even touched on the drought in areas of the Triangle. Climate change is also leading to crop failures, which is making the situation far worst