Where there’s a Wall, there’s a way
Where there’s a Wall, there’s a way
In 15 days the Government will again be on the brink of a shutdown. In that same span of time caravans of Central and South American Migrants will have left Mexico City heading for the US Border. Meanwhile, Congress is still at an impasse on Border Wall funding, and a plan for exactly how to deal with the thousands of inbound migrants. Following two weeks of media manufactured crises how long before they acknowledge a real one?
Facts are undeniable pieces of information. They can be manipulated to fit a narrative, but that is presentation. Like six different boxes holding the same item. At the core of the matter is that facts are irrefutable information. According to the DHS most recent numbers,
As of today, USBP has seen a surge in Family Unit Aliens compared to the same time from last fiscal year by 280%. Fiscal Year 2018 was a record year and this year will surpass that if the current trend continues without any legislative fixes. Overall apprehensions between the POE’s [Points of Entry] are up 81%.
If the 280% increase is from 2, then it’s about 5.6. A relatively insignificant number in the big picture. But when the number is over 7,000 people, it’s significant.
Of the 8,797 apprehended in large groups, 7,757 are from Guatemala, and comprised mostly of family units (FMUA) and unaccompanied children (UAC). That means 96.1% are members of family units (84.6%) or unaccompanied children (11.5%)
The fact that FMUA is up 280% is significant and a shift from previous years.
Significant parts of our Southern border have gates, and barbed wire. The locations are remote and desolate. Far from the Metropolitan cities that have large barriers. These places abut ranches, farms, and reservation lands. Hidalgo County is one such place that is feeling the pressure of mass illegal immigration. This isn’t new pressure, it’s been happening over multiple presidential administrations and sessions of Congress.
The large migrant influx has recently impacted the medical care available to citizens in this small community.
Two county officials who spoke with the Washington Examiner during a recent meeting said they have seen massive groups of migrants, from 100 to 300 people each, getting dropped off in the county. The high number of arrivals wasn’t a problem at first, but by November and early December, it became a problem when many people began showing up sick and in need of professional care. “For a while there, we were being called every day. They [Border Patrol] wanted us to do their screening because they had a lack of medical personnel,” said Hidalgo County Emergency Medical Services Director David Whipple.
Another issue is the Border Patrol’s decision to bring migrants into local urgent care facilities, including Hidalgo County Medical Services. The situation prompted County Manager Tisha Green to reach out to state and border representatives in late December.
The comment was made that a good 20 of the immigrants walked in with Border Patrol and all of the local residents that were there waiting for appointments were kind of pushed to the side and several of the people got up and left because they didn’t want to be around any type of illness they could be bringing in.
Worst case, imagine that you are in a car accident or need emergency medical services, but the 6 full time employees and 5 volunteers are busy ferrying illegal migrants three hours to the hospital. If you live in a dense area like San Diego or El Paso, it’s a nuisance. If you live in a remotely populated and spread out area like Hidalgo it’s a potentially deadly scenario.
BUILD A WALL & CRIME WILL FALL! pic.twitter.com/yDdCG5DCxn
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 27, 2019
Marta Hernandez covered the unfortunate death of a young girl who crossed in this section of unsecured border. From my perspective the USBP did everything they could to help her. The remote location combined with the lack of medial services available in the area made for a deadly combination. Why attempt the crossing in such a dangerous and remote area? It’s protected by only cattle fencing and easy to cross. Coyotes don’t care about the survival of their cargo, so will take the route that ensures the lowest risk of apprehension by USBP. Unfortunately for the human cargo, it’s the more dangerous option. San Diego is much easier, Tijuana is a sprawling city on the border. But San Diego has a big old wall. According to “The Hill“, border walls directly correlate to a drop in illegal crossings,
Of course nothing is impenetrable or foolproof, but the fencing in Yuma, Arizona, is a great example of what works. Since its construction in 2005, it has yielded better than a 90 percent drop in illegal traffic. Similar numbers have been registered at other physical barriers in San Diego, El Paso, Texas, and Tucson, Arizona, since their construction.
Logical thinkers come to the conclusion that extending the proven deterrent will save lives. It isn’t perfect, but one piece of a complex system to deter illegal immigration. Why don’t the obstructionists want to save lives of people being trafficked through some of the most inhospitable terrain?
Here we are, a mere 15 days from another shut down, and our congress has accomplished nothing. They have made vague statements, according to “Politico” the Chair of Appropriations said,
“I’m not going to give you the conclusion. We’re going into this conference, and we’re open to everyone’s facts and figures,” House Appropriations Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) told reporters after the meeting. “Everything’s on the table,” and conferees are ready for “a real intense negotiation period. We’re going to be evaluating all the facts,” the chairwoman said. “And then we’ll resolve the money.”
Have the facts been hiding? They had over 30 days to look at the “facts” of the issue during the last shutdown. Our government was shut down because this President wanted funding for a border wall, and during that time did nobody compile and review facts? DHS was working without pay, and available for a chat about the “Facts.” But now, 15 days out they want to hash out facts before hashing out funding. It’s no wonder that they can’t craft timely legislation, and we’re still working with decades old immigration policy. It’s like calling your agent about hurricane insurance when the storm is an hour out from landfall. You knew it was coming, but “meh, not a big deal.” Worse still, you know another one will be coming eventually. Because…. hurricanes. Not unlike illegal immigration. You know it’s coming.
Oh wait, I know what happened. Their elected Speaker Pelosi rejected the offer before she saw it. I guess the “pass the bill to know what’s in the bill” only applies to health care scams. Instead of working they were grandstanding and missing tax-payer funded flights.
What has barely been covered is the thousands of migrants currently camped in Mexico City headed north, and that Mexico has announced its new policy on immigration. One aligned with the UN Global Compact for Migration. Mexico’s position as written by Roberto Velasco Alvarez, spokesman for the Sec of Foreign Affairs, “will no longer be one of migration deterrence and blockage.” Additionally Mexico has “provided visiting registrations for humanitarian reasons to migrants that otherwise would have entered the country irregularly.” Enabling these migrants to “work and, as a consequence, will benefit from access to health care, education, and other social programs.”
Mexico stands with migrants. The new U.S. asylum policy must respect their rights.https://t.co/7m7PmDpJK8
— Roberto Velasco Álvarez (@r_velascoa) January 28, 2019
So basically, they enjoy the status of citizens, without the ability to vote. It seems like Mexico has deferred to the UN, relinquishing their sovereign ability to control immigration. Logically staying in Mexico is a viable alternative to migrating into the USA. Access to health care, education, and a job. Away from the immediate threat of whatever it was back in Central or South America.
However, should those “visiting migrants” opt to continue to the USA and be caught crossing the border, Mexico will not take them. “Mexico will temporarily welcome some migrants seeking asylum in the United States. But in the interest of protecting vulnerable migrants, unaccompanied children, and those in poor health conditions will not be accepted into our territory from the United Staes. With this, Mexico reaffirms its adherence to the paramount principle of non-refoulement.”
The caravan either needs to be stopped before they enter the USA, via a system of physical and electronic barriers, or we accept that they will vanish into the American Underground. Mexico won’t take them, and returning them to their home country will place them in presumptive jeopardy. Regardless, the odds of them appearing before an immigration judge are very low. If they don’t show up for the trial, they can’t be told to go “home.”
So far the total number of migrants that have registered for Mexico’s new offer exceeds 12,500. A posted flyer for the next caravan scheduled to head into Mexico from San Pedro Sula, Honduras is set to depart on Feb 16th at 11pm. The majority of those caravan migrants didn’t have Mexico as their destination of choice.
“We may try Nogales or another port,” says Carlos Nunez who began this journey with the caravan in San Pedro Sula, Honduras on Jan 15th. Nunez says he will head for the border likely today or tomorrow.
In the 43 years of this law’s existence, no Congress has ever voted to terminate a declared state of emergency, and no court has countermanded any such presidential decree. Should Trump declare an emergency to build the wall, he’ll likely tap funds already appropriated by Congress for other military construction projects. Statutorily, presidents can redirect already-appropriated funds, and lacking clear statutory definition of what constitutes an emergency, any legal challenges to such a declaration will likely fail. Some claim that the legal arguments favoring Trump pulling this off are specious, even absurd. But legal arguments can’t be considered frivolous if a majority of U.S. Supreme Court justices support them. In terms of actually getting something done, Trump holds some good cards. Also, when the Supremes actually rule, they may be minus a leftie; Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s health has been precarious.
Is it the right path for this situation? Experts disagree on this, but it has been used 58 times since being enacted in 1976. In fact, 28 declarations are annual renewals. My favorite being “Regulations of the Anchorage and Movement of Vessels with Respect to Cuba (Mar. 1, 1996).” Bill Clinton had to get his cigars somehow….
Trump seems determined to get the Wall funded via the Legislative or Executive pathway. The detractors and pundits are looking at polls and political analysis. Trump is looking at it as a vindication of his campaign promise. He Tweeted “If the committee of Republicans and Democrats now meeting on Border Security is not discussing or contemplating a Wall or Physical Barrier, they are Wasting their time!”
The Polls are not in his favor, but he’s in office despite “polls”, so perhaps he’s right not to put much faith in them.
Voters support 61 – 33 percent a bill that funds new border security measures, but does not fund a wall along the Mexican border. Republicans oppose this “no wall” idea 62 – 32 percent, but all other party, gender, age and racial groups support it.
Voters disapprove 66 – 31 percent of the president using emergency powers to fund a wall along the border.
American voters also oppose 68 – 26 percent shutting down the government to get funding for a wall.
I believe his rhetoric in this situation. Also believe I’ll be stocking up on my favorite “Perennial” from Argus Cidery in Austin, Texas. I may engage in a calming beverage when the multi-sided rhetoric gets heated. It isn’t much to expect that the manufactured umbrage at every little thing will cool off by this weekend, allowing for State of the Union chatter to bubble up. Paired with “the Wall” and all it entails, maybe I need to buy several bottles.
Featured Image cropped: Pixabay under license Free For Commercial Use