“Sweeping” immigration strategies announced by Vice President Kamala Harris and the White House this summer are not slowing the flow of migrants to the U.S. If anything, they are facilitating greater movement as larger and more organized caravans roll up through South and Central America.
In July, Harris unveiled plans to address what she calls root causes of global migration: economic insecurity and inequality; political corruption; gang activity; and sexual and gender-based violence. She made no mention of strategies to actually curb illegal immigration. Nor were timelines or specific actions announced. But Mexico, Japan (?) and South Korea (??) were said to be on board.
At the same time, the White House revealed a Collaborative Migration Management Strategy to “strengthen migration management with regional partners.” It outlined how the U.S. would work with other countries “to manage safe, orderly and humane migration in North and Central America.”
Perhaps America’s southern neighbors haven’t gotten the memos. More likely, the Biden-Harris administration’s idea of safe, orderly and humane migration is simply to “manage” an increasing volume of migrants heading north.
While the White House and its border czar shuffle policy papers, the Center for Immigration Studies reports that Colombia, Panama and other nations are opening the floodgates. As Todd Bensman of the Center for Immigration Studies found in the field:
“Colombia allows thousands of migrants from all over the world to pool up on edge of the Darien wilderness route to Panama, then tolerates a significant smuggling industry that guides these migrants by foot out through the gap into Panama. The Panamanian government coordinates and organizes commercial buses to drive the migrants to the Costa Rica border and drop them at the town of Paso Canoas.
“The migrants Panama dropped off in Paso Canoas find taxis and buses to the far northwestern town of La Cruz or the northeastern town of Los Chiles, where phalanxes of taxi smugglers fish them from bus stations and take them to smuggling groups in Nicaragua, often paying off Nicaraguan soldiers who were part of the industry.”
And so it goes, day in and day out.
The so-called “controlled flow” of migrants may marginally benefit some countries, but none of it is in the U.S. interest. A policy that incentivizes Central American nations to deter and deport migrants en route would be far more effective than the diversionary hyperbole Biden-Harris are dishing out while evermore migrants come to this country to stay (bona fide asylum claims optional).
As things stand, this administration’s weak defense of our southern border and its unserious approach to immigration enforcement speak louder to America’s “regional partners” than all the pretty policy pronouncements emanating from Washington.