“Crisis” at the Southern Border of the US

In this “crisis”, who is suffering?  Is it migrants (especially migrant children), border agents, and / or US citizens?  Let’s explore each.

The migrants, in most instances, are fleeing oppression and extreme poverty.  They take huge risks on long journeys and work with / pay shady people to help them just for a shot at getting to a safe country where law rules and they have a shot at thriving economically.  The downside is that they are turned away or held in an uncomfortable, packed US government facility while waiting.  I could be wrong, but I think that most of us would take that tradeoff. 

So, are they suffering more at the border than in extreme poverty, corruption, natural disasters, crop failures or war?  Maybe, however, the possibility and hope must be far greater to them.  If they believe that the cost / benefit of the situation is worth it…  who are we to tell them it is not?

However, if we wanted to solve this “crisis” for the migrants, how would we solve it?  

Closing the border for the past four years, did not solve it.  They still suffered, and with less hope.

I would solve it by letting non-criminals into the country via a sane, thorough, efficient legal immigration process.  If the US government could do fast background checks and let migrants in to await the balance of the legal immigration process there would be no backup at the border and migrants would be free to seek employment and appropriate shelter.  Families would be able to stay together, because there would be no incentives to send individual children to the border.

Are border agents and the non profits that are helping migrants suffering?  Yes, I am certain that their job is harder right now, because the volume is up…  or is it?  

The Washington Post found that:  “We looked at data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection to see whether there’s a ‘crisis’ — or even a ‘surge,’ as many news outlets have characterized it. We analyzed monthly CBP data from 2012 to now and found no crisis or surge that can be attributed to Biden administration policies.”  “Rather, the current increase in apprehensions fits a predictable pattern of seasonal changes in undocumented immigration combined with a backlog of demand because of 2020’s coronavirus border closure.”

Are those that insist it is a crisis / surge correct or is the Washington Post analysis correct?  I don’t know.   

However, I know that the border agents have a tough job.  Their supporting non profits have a tough job.  Undoubtedly, pursuing people that are trying to cross the border illegally is difficult every day and it is especially true when the volume is up.  How could we solve it?  

This might sound familiar:  I would solve it by letting them into the country via a sane, thorough, efficient legal immigration process.  If the US government could do fast background checks and let the immigrants in to await the balance of the legal immigration process there would be no backup and the migrants would be free to seek employment and appropriate shelter. 

That would invite migrants to cross the border at legal checkpoints, because they would know that they would get the asylum they seek.  The only migrants incentivized to cross outside the legal checkpoints would be those that would not get in:  Criminals.  CBP agents could focus on the criminals and the ones caught would far more likely warrant their attention.

Are US citizens suffering?  As a whole, I discuss immigration here.  My conclusion in the article:  No, immigrants are a boon to the country and to us as the citizens of the country.  However, let me discuss some new items that have come up during this current surge:

Potential terrorists-  I address crime, in general, in my previous article.  However, terrorists at the Southern border have come up recently in the media and via politicians.  According to Axios, CBP arrested 4 people on the terrorist watch list crossing the Southern border from October 1st to March 16th (5.5 months or about .7 per month).  The data comes from a CBP report to congress.  That compares to a dozen in fiscal year 2018 or 1 per month (2019 is not yet available).  So, at least during this period, the trend is slightly down and not up.  Plus, that period was mostly during the Trump administration, and, therefore, is not indicative of a change in policy.  In a world where one terrorist attack is too many, I completely understand that we do not want to take great risk.  However, we have people on the terrorist “no fly” list coming in via airplanes at greater numbers and we are not calling it a crisis.

What about COVID-19 infected immigrants entering the United States?  Based upon the nonprofits that have been doing the testing and quarantining at the border, the positivity rate is lower than that of the states they are quarantining within.  Therefore, even if they were released into the state, the situation would not get worse.  And they are by and large not being released, instead they are being placed into quarantine by the nonprofits.

So, even if we chose to call this a “crisis”, who is suffering?  If no one suffers, what makes it a crisis?

Join me in calling for our politicians to work together to implement a thorough, efficient legal immigration process. 

Just my opinion.  What do you think?  Let me know in the comments.

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#Immigration #Immigrants #Migration #Migrants #LegalImmigration #IllegalImmigration

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