A refugee ‘solution’ to the border crisis
Ever since Barack Obama’s manufactured border crisis became big news, I’ve been asking why compassionate liberals support policies that put Unaccompanied Alien Children on a dangerous journey that begins with abuse – including, according to many accounts, sexual abuse – by smugglers, and ends with a dangerous desert crossing. If we’re going to effectively throw the border open, doesn’t compassion demand that we send buses and planes down to Central America to pick the kids up and bring them safely here?
The same idea has officially occurred to the Obama Administration. Instead of letting Unaccompanied Alien Children pile up in border camps, we’ll just declare them “refugees” in Honduras and bring them safely to their new American city of permanent residence! Border crisis solved!
As you read this report from the New York Times, marvel that there are still people who doubt that Obama caused this crisis on purpose, as part of a Cloward-Piven attack on the U.S. immigration system. I’m not sure what else those people need to here, but House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will be along in a moment as the closing act for this bleak comedy:
Hoping to stem the recent surge of migrants at the Southwest border, the Obama administration is considering whether to allow hundreds of minors and young adults from Honduras into the United States without making the dangerous trek through Mexico, according to a draft of the proposal.
If approved, the plan would direct the government to screen thousands of children and youths in Honduras to see if they can enter the United States as refugees or on emergency humanitarian grounds. It would be the first American refugee effort in a nation reachable by land to the United States, the White House said, putting the violence in Honduras on the level of humanitarian emergencies in Haiti and Vietnam, where such programs have been conducted in the past amid war and major crises.
Critics of the plan were quick to pounce, saying it appeared to redefine the legal definition of a refugee and would only increase the flow of migration to the United States. Administration officials said they believed the plan could be enacted through executive action, without congressional approval, as long as it did not increase the total number of refugees coming into the country.
Problem: Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) executive orders touched off a human stampede from Central America. Solution: an even bigger amnesty order that includes curb service – we’ll pick up the lucky refugee lottery winners and bring them here ourselves!
Say, do you suppose the throng of people showing up to claim “refugee” status might be a lot bigger than Obama anticipates, just as the current wave of amnesty-seekers he summoned was bigger than he bargained for, causing him unanticipated headaches? Do you think passengers rebuffed from Obama’s Refugee Express might still take it upon themselves to get across the border, secure in the knowledge that the American system is predisposed toward letting them stay?
It’s amazing that the talking point about how all these unaccompanied minors are here by mistake is still alive. The talking point claims they’ve made a terrible mistake and misinterpreted the generosity of Obama’s DACA orders, which were only supposed to apply to alien minors already in the United States. But critics of Obama’s immigration policies accurately warned that any form of amnesty deal brings more amnesty-seekers. Democrats routinely insult the intelligence of these aliens by portraying them as confused about American law (well, more confused than the average American citizen, anyway) or bamboozled by smooth-talking smugglers looking to drum up business.
But the aliens are not stupid, and they’re not wrong to believe they have an excellent chance of remaining in the United States if they make it across the border. The actual data on deportations over the past few years makes that clear enough. If the odds of a border violator achieving permanent residency were offered at a Vegas gambling table, the casino would go bankrupt. And they know perfectly well that the American political system deals with its resident illegal alien problem solely by offering periodic “pathway to citizenship” amnesty deals to make the problem go away. The one thing the American government does not ever do is engineer mass repatriation, even though our Ruling Class occasionally feels obliged to make laughable boasts about repatriation to keep ornery U.S. citizens quiet.
President Obama was doing that just a couple of weeks ago. Anyone who bet that his “repatriation” bluster was a bag of hot air is a big winner. (It was a sucker bet, because the Administration was quietly dispersing the people Obama supposedly planned to “repatriate” into American cities at taxpayer expense, even as he was speaking.) Now he’s floating the idea of using executive power to open up “refugee” processing centers. The American system always bends toward permissiveness and amnesty, because the simple fact is that our Ruling Class is either actively hostile to border security, or considers it a thankless task which consumes resources they would rather spend elsewhere. A Guatemalan or Honduran who makes plans on that assumption is far more intelligent, and better versed in the realities of American politics, than half of our professional pundit class.
Look at it this way: well over half of the human wave pouring in from Central America is comprised of adults. They obviously didn’t misread the fine print on Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals orders. They’re coming because they have a clear idea of the rewards awaiting them, and the enthusiasm of American politicians to grant them indefinite residency, followed by citizenship.
Even if Obama could be trusted to administer his proposed “refugee” program honestly – and only a fool would extend such trust – it would be utterly overwhelmed by applicants. They would have a fair point: if the term “refugee” is redefined as described by the New York Times, then almost everyone who doesn’t live in a First World nation qualifies. For that matter, quite a few people from American inner cities could claim “refugee” status too – a point some of them have been making in angry man-on-the-street interviews, as they watch the American government turn its back on them to spend billions on people who aren’t even U.S. citizens, pulling even more people into both job-creation and welfare systems that can’t handle the existing demand.
By moving decisions on refugee claims to Honduras, the plan aims to slow the rush of minors crossing into the United States illegally from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, which has overwhelmed the border this year. More than 45,000 unaccompanied minors from those three nations have arrived since Oct. 1, straining federal resources to the point that some agencies will exhaust their budgets by next month, the secretary of Homeland Security has said.
Many of the children, particularly in Honduras, are believed to be fleeing dangerous street gangs, which forcibly recruit members and extort home and business owners. The United Nations estimates that 70,000 gang members operate in the three nations.
Administration officials stressed that no decision had been made to move forward, saying the idea was one of many being discussed by officials at the White House and the Departments of State, Homeland Security, Justice, and Health and Human Services.
Among the factors surrounding the decision are how many people in Honduras would be eligible to apply for the program, and how many would probably be approved.
The proposal, prepared by several federal agencies, says the pilot program under consideration would cost up to $47 million over two years, assuming 5,000 applied and about 1,750 people were accepted. If successful, it would be adopted in Guatemala and El Salvador as well.
Gang violence and lousy economic conditions make you a “refugee” now? Where are we going to put all the refugees from Chicago, then?
Extending this offer to 1,750 people is a joke. That’s not even five percent of the tidal wave we’re facing. Either the refugee program would immediately swell in size to many times the Administration’s meaningless promises of tight control, or the people of these Central American hell-holes would swiftly conclude it’s an irrelevant distraction and resume doing business with smugglers. Almost the only measurable effect of such a program would be to make the situation worse, by providing fresh evidence that the United States political system is willing to absorb migratory populations, no matter what its citizens have to say.
The one and only thing that will actually slow the tide of amnesty-seekers is decisive action on repatriation – send these tens of thousands of border violators home, and then expanding provisions for granting refugee status becomes sensible. The American people would almost certainly support accepting a few thousand more carefully-screened children and their families every year, if the case for doing so is made honestly by our politicians. (Are we really supposed to believe Obama will provide transportation to bring the children to America, but separate them forever from their parents, who must spend the rest of their lives in gangster shooting galleries? How is that compassionate or humane?)
Also, this “refugee” program should be accompanied by the immediate cessation of all foreign aid, for any purpose except refugee processing, to the countries involved. If Honduras is officially declared a failed state, there is no reason the American taxpayer should be forced to subsidize its useless government any further.
There is a huge difference between having a rational discussion with the public about how many refugees we can accept, and why we should accept them, versus dumping a vast army of aliens in their laps and sighing that “comprehensive immigration reform” is now inevitable. The latter strategy follows those Cloward-Piven principles of manufactured crisis. It’s a deliberate effort to ensure the American people have absolutely nothing to say about who receives citizenship. It’s designed to make voters feel they have no moral right to participate in the discussion at all.
Which brings us to our closing act, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, working the standup political comedy circuit at National Review:
“The most important thing that we can do to use this crisis as an opportunity is to pass comprehensive immigration reform,” Pelosi told reporters in Texas while discussing the border crisis, per Politico. Of the House Republican Working Group’s proposal, she said she needed to see “what the amount is, hopefully with no offsets, hopefully with no language that changes immigration.”
Pelosi’s allusion to changing current law marks a departure from the original Democratic position, as House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) reminded reporters Thursday.
“You know, the administration started earlier this month by signaling some openness to changes in the 2008 law to accelerate the process of returning these children to their home countries,” Boehner said. “The president called for this change, the Secretary of Homeland Security called for this change, and other administration officials have called for this change. Now, the president and his team have apparently flip-flopped. Now they want billions in new spending, with no commitment to actually solving the problem.”
This isn’t the first time Pelosi has explicitly presented this as a Cloward-Piven moment, a crisis Democrats can use to advance their political agenda. You’re not supposed to tell the suckers they’re getting the C-P treatment, but Pelosi has a way of blurting out what Democrat leaders are quietly told behind closed doors. I ask again: is there anyone who still doubts this border crisis was created on purpose, to shift “comprehensive immigration reform” from its status as a pet obsession of the Ruling Class to the top-five list of American voters’ concerns? They should be even more concerned that not many of their “representatives” from either party care what they think about it.