Border Surge Is Great for Central America’s Oligarchs

It is rarely if ever discussed, but the current surge out of Central America, and into Southern Texas, is a wonderful development for some very powerful people — Central America’s oligarchs.

Think of the alternatives: the understandably unhappy majority of these countries, instead of spending time, money, and emotional energy on the risky emigration of their relatives, might otherwise be using those resources for:

  • A huge March for Jobs in capital cities like Tegucigalpa,
  • A well organized attempt to oust the local Establishment at the polls, or
  • Maybe a revolution, or two, or three.

Far better for the region’s fat cats that all this energy is aimed at the Lower Rio Grande Valley, and at the prospect of a better life in the United States for the individuals, rather than at changing the societies themselves.

This is a very old story in migration to the United States. It was the massive emigration from Ireland (during and after the potato famine) that helped postpone the separation of Ireland from the UK for generations. It was the Mariel boatlift, and the 1994 agreement to take at least 20,000 immigrants per year, which helped ease pressures on the Castro regime in Cuba, even unto this day. It was the nearly century-long exodus of the restless poor from Mexico, both legal and illegal, which helps keep the wealthy in power in that nation.

Unfortunately, the Obama administration seems blind to these indirect impacts of migration, and few Republicans think that upsetting the wealthy — anywhere — is a good idea.

So we are unwittingly aiding the powerful people in Central America who are creating the problems that are encouraging the surge across our southern border. We do this by permitting the illegal migration.

There is so much superficial thinking going on here — editors running photos of appealing and poor Central American kids, and politicians talking of sending the National Guard to the border.

What we need is fast deportations back to Central America combined with a mix of a little financial assistance to those places and a lot of pressure on their governments to start making life more attractive for the big majority of the people who live there.

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