The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is moving more officers to the border to record the arrival of Central American migrants and is sending more migrants back to Mexico before their U.S. courtroom pleas for asylum.
An agency statement said DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen directed the Customs and Border Protection agency to:
return hundreds of additional migrants per day above current rates to Mexico, consistent with U.S. law and humanitarian obligations. This increase in returns shall include individuals apprehended or encountered at or between [Ports of Entry]. Moreover, the agency is directed to plan for an expansion of MPP beyond the locations in which it currently operates in California and Texas.
“The crisis at our border is worsening, and DHS will do everything in its power to end it,” said Nielsen’s statement. “We will not stand idly by while Congress fails to act yet again, so all options are on the table.”
Nielsen also directed CBP to “accelerate its planned reallocation of up to 750 officers to Border Patrol Sectors that are affected by the emergency [and ] is authorized to exceed it, and shall notify the Secretary if reassignments are planned to exceed 2,000 personnel.”
The movement of border officials is an indirect way of threatening Mexico and business with expensive disruptions to cross-border trade. That indirect threat is already raising protests from many business groups that earlier lobbied Congress to block legal reforms that would shrink the migration.
The policy of returning more migrants to Mexico is the DHS’s current primary plan for stopping the Central American migration, which is on track to deliver 100,000 migrants in March and more than 1 million by October.
The strategy can be implemented because Congress cannot stop the transfer.
The strategy attacks the cartels’ labor-trafficking business by preventing migrant workers from getting jobs.
When migrants are sent back to Mexico to wait for their asylum hearings, they cannot get the U.S. jobs they need to pay off their debts to the cartel-affiliate coyotes who brought them to the border. If they cannot repay the debts, the migrants will lose the farms and houses they provide as collateral to the cartels’ lenders. The impact and news of the economic losses may reduce the next wave of migrants — thereby wrecking the cartels’ labor trafficking business.
Nielsen directed officials “to return hundreds of additional migrants per day.”
But “hundreds” is far less than the thousands who are arriving each day to accept Congress’s tacit offer to migrate into the United States via numerous legal loopholes, which Congress has declined to shutter. The loopholes allow migrants to be released to get jobs once they ask for asylum — even when there is a border wall, when the migrants have little chance of winning asylum, and when the migrants tell border officials that they are migrating in search of jobs.
A March 30 Associated Press report said the goal is to return 300 migrants to Mexico per day — even though up to 4,100 migrants are crossing per day:
Trump’s media-savvy staff blame migrants & Democrats for Cntrl. Am. migration, truck delays & trade ‘shutdowns.’ The strategy pressures biz to help get some border reforms from pro-migration Dems. (But Trump still doesn’t talk about harm to voters’ wages) https://t.co/2cmsVBRk6f
— Neil Munro (@NeilMunroDC) April 1, 2019
Nielsen cannot rush to return all the migrants to Mexico because she has to avoid triggering a hostile reaction by Mexican politicians, by Democrats in Congress, and by U.S. judges.
The Mexican government is in a bind because the Mexican public does not oppose the migration of poor Central Americans into the wealthier U.S. economy. But President Donald Trump is threatening to shut the border, and his deputies say border trade will be delayed and blocked as DHS officers are moved from entry points to the task of recording the migrants’ arrival. This top-level political pressure on Mexico is likely intended to ensure that Mexico does not block the return of “hundreds” of migrants to Mexico.
Democrats also oppose the DHS policy, which is also called “Remain in Mexico,” because it has the potential to stop the mass migration out of Central America. Democrats describe the economic migration as a “humanitarian crisis,” even though migrants say they are coming in search of jobs now held by low-income Democrat voters.
Republican legislators did little to block the migration when they held the House and Senate in 2018. Many GOP business donors favor the migration because it provides them with more workers, consumers, and renters — as well as a political distraction from President Donald Trump’s popular Four Pillars immigration reforms.
Progressive groups are suing to block the strategy and may persuade a California judge to stop the DHS plan. Progressive judges have already blocked several other anti-migration efforts — and have sl0w-rolled the resulting appeals, thereby ensuring the rapid growth of the migration. The loopholes that progressive judges and open-borders groups created have allowed the cartels to earn huge sums from labor trafficking.
A statement from one anti-borders group, Human Rights First, declared:
Secretary Neilsen’s directive to expand the illegal Remain in Mexico scheme is doubling down on a failing immigration policy. The move will endanger the lives of asylum seekers by returning even more of them to Mexico, despite the high risks of death and violence there. Not only does this scheme violate U.S. law, but it gives a black eye to the United States’ proud legacy as a leader on the protection of refugees.
The group of white-collar lawyers also said the U.S. government should help migrants plead for asylum, and should spend Americans’ money to help migrants maximize their chance of winning asylum:
If the Trump Administration is serious about finding solutions, it should be increasing—not cutting—aid to programs that reduce violence and promote protection in the Northern Triangle; it should work with humanitarian groups to properly manage arrivals at the border; it should strengthen fair and timely decision making on asylum claims; and it should launch a case management system to support appearances rather than lock asylum seekers and families in immigration jails for months or even longer.
Tom Jawetz, the immigration director for the progressive Center for American Progress, complained about the possible border closures:
Seems very clear at this point that multiple POEs will be shuttered for some period of time beginning next week.
I hope the outrage on the American side of the border surpasses anything we may hear on the Mexican side. https://t.co/B4bjeznKiT
— Tom Jawetz (@TomJawetz) March 31, 2019
The poor and uneducated Central American migrants are flowing into Americans’ blue-collar jobs, blue-collar schools, and blue-collar neighborhoods. Yet the U.S. white-collar media and progressive groups focus their attention on the welfare of the economic migrants.
Each year, roughly four million young Americans join the workforce after graduating from high school or university.
But the federal government then imports approximately 1.1 million legal immigrants, refreshes a resident population of roughly 1.5 million white-collar guest workers and roughly 500,000 blue-collar visa workers, and it also tolerates about 8 million illegal workers.
In 2019 — because of catch and release rules mandated by Congress and the courts — the federal government also will likely release at least 350,000 migrant Central American laborers into the U.S. job market, even as at least 500,000 more migrants sneak past U.S. border defenses or overstay their visas.
This federal policy of flooding the market with cheap white-collar graduates and blue-collar foreign labor is intended to boost economic growth for investors. This policy shifts enormous wealth from young employees towards older investors, widens wealth gaps, reduces high tech investment, increases state and local tax burdens, hurts children’s schools and college education, pushes Americans away from high-tech careers, and sidelines millions of marginalized Americans, including many who are now struggling with fentanyl addictions.
But Trump’s “Hire American” policy crimped the supply of new workers in 2017 and 2018, which allowed blue-collar Americans to get a four percent wage increase in 2018:
Goldman Sachs says Trump’s tight labor-market policy (AKA ‘Hire American’) gave 4% raise to blue-collar/middle-class in 2018. But upper-income graduate salaries lagged – maybe b/c of 1.5 million visa-worker graduates who work for spaghettiOs & green cards https://t.co/g6jtv9BS81
— Neil Munro (@NeilMunroDC) March 14, 2019