A few quick thoughts on the Central American illegal immigrant crisis at the US-Mexican border, none of them pleasant:
1) The protests in Murrieta are absolutely disgraceful. They’re a national embarrassment. Blocking immigrant transport buses, banging on bus windows, chanting “USA! USA! USA!”, forcing Border Patrol agents to abandon their original plan to process the immigrants at the facility they deemed best equipped for the job and revert to backup plans: this is a combination of vigilante lawlessness and near-feral jingoistic bigotry.
These are our borderers. If that’s the best we can do, I’m tempted to take my chances with another horde of illegal immigrants. At least they’re less likely to be openly vile in English.
2) The Border Patrol’s internal checkpoints are now shown to be even more useless than previously known. Border Patrol officers are waving known illegal immigrants through these checkpoints unchaperoned on common-carrier buses when they present processing papers. This is being done on the assumption that these immigrants will appear as instructed for hearings, likely including deportation hearings. This is an impressive leap of faith for federal officers operating general-warrant checkpoints in blatant disregard for the spirit of the Fourth Amendment, ostensibly for the purpose of intercepting illegal immigrants who weren’t caught at the border.
We need to shut the damn things down.
3) As a rule of thumb, these immigrants are unassimilable. Realistically, they won’t be integrating into US society. They’ll be lurking in a parallel anti-civic underworld, many for the rest of their lives, functionally without civil rights, to our detriment and to their own. The federal authorities do not have a grip on this situation. Their inadequate staffing, facilities, and oversight procedures are going to allow these people to fade into the woodwork, distorting the aboveboard economy by their presence. We have a fucking mess on our hands.
4) They aren’t coming for frivolous reasons. In the best cases, they’re fleeing chronic severe poverty and badly dysfunctional governments. In the worst cases, they’re fleeing levels of violence indicative of an undeclared civil war.
5) This is one of the reasons why the nativist protesters in Murrieta are such asshats. The problem isn’t their nativism per se; it’s that they’re cruel and hateful about it. This country needs a robust nativist politics as a counterweight to the mushheaded Chamber of Commerce/SWPL noble savage enthusiast pro-immigration politics currently dominating both major parties. What it doesn’t need is the kind of savage, uncouth, immoral nativist politics that spew all over everything, driven not by love of country but by hatred of foreigners. If that kind of ugliness goes unchecked, we’ll destroy ourselves in our zeal to destroy the Central American peasant diaspora.
6) Something needs to be done to restore civil order in the roughest parts of Central America. The level of violence in Honduras is so high that it’s clearly threatening the domestic national interest of the United States, and probably its national security as well. The US government should be sending civilian cops and MP’s to Central America to help the hapless local governments restore order. Instead, it’s sending personnel to Iraq.
7) The Mexican government needs to be pressured into taking a more active role in dealing with the refugee crisis. As a Spanish-speaking country, Mexico is better able to deal with the Spanish-speaking refugees than the US. Its government shouldn’t be given a free pass to dump the problem on the Americans by allowing a flood of refugees to pass through without any official intervention.
8) The non-Spanish-speaking refugees? Fuck. Some of them speak languages that no one fifty miles away can understand. Not too soluble.
9) Facilitating birth control access in Central America to women who want to use it is clearly in the US national interest. If I have to explain to you why this is important as a matter of realpolitik and a perfectly moral outreach effort on the part of the US government, you’re beyond hope.
Bad shit going down, folks. This mess ain’t cleaning itself up.