In the US poli­ti­cal land­sca­pe the meta­mor­pho­sis of the ongo­ing migrant huma­ni­ta­rian cri­sis has had many turns and twi­sts depen­ding on the US poli­ti­cal cli­ma­te and par­ty in char­ge in the Washing­ton DC. From the kids in cages ima­ge­ry under the Depor­ter in Chief Oba­ma thro­ugh a hor­ren­do­usly inhu­man fami­ly sepa­ra­tion under Trump to the feel­go­od slo­ga­ne­ering and US media for­ced amne­sia under Biden, the show of poli­ti­cal dys­func­tion con­ti­nu­es whi­le the people who sho­uld mat­ter most in this sce­na­rio suf­fer it instead.

I have recen­tly tra­vel­led the bor­der wall zone from El Paso, TX to the Noga­les, AZ , cros­sing it 7 times to talk to people on both sides of bor­der. The pic­tu­re that comes out of it is as com­plex as the people that inha­bit them and the ridi­cu­lo­us tem­pla­te sce­na­rio of the good vs the bad ‚lar­ge­ly toed by the US media sen­sa­tio­na­list appro­ach, is as unre­ali­stic and fal­se as one can get.

The stan­dard dia­gno­sis of the pro­blem and its solu­tions are dra­fted along the poli­ti­cal convic­tions of the US poli­ti­cal class in power. On the right, the issue of US sove­re­ign­ty, whe­ther the US or Mexi­co is a para­mo­unt to exer­ci­sing bor­der con­trol at all costs whi­le the libe­ral left thinks that the open bor­der poli­cy and huma­nism sho­uld be a guiding prin­ci­ple over any dome­stic and inter­na­tio­nal laws as in the­ir own words, “no human being is illegal.”

The right pre­su­mes that the eco­no­mic moti­va­tion of the migrants comes out of nowhe­re but a pure gre­ed and sel­fi­sh­ness whi­le the left and a lar­ge part of the con­se­rva­ti­ve right thinks of this pro­blem as some­thing to be dealt with thro­ugh a bro­ken immi­gra­tion sys­tem that sho­uld help the­se people as long as they don’t wind up costing US socie­ty too much and most impor­tan­tly, do not put them “in my own bac­ky­ard.” Obvio­usly the both sides of this argu­ment are wrong.

The refu­gee convoys that pre­do­mi­na­ted the move­ment of people that try to reach US bor­der are par­tly out­co­me of the US poli­ti­cal and eco­no­mic med­dling in El Salva­dor, Guate­ma­la and Hon­du­ras own poli­ti­cal land­sca­pe that resul­ted in coups and socio-eco­no­mic dislo­ca­tion not to men­tion export of the US own pro­blems in form of MS-13 gang mem­bers from the bar­rios of Los Ange­les during a tough on cri­me 1990s ide­olo­gy of ven­ge­ful depor­ta­tions. The second part of this phe­no­me­non has ori­gins in the dome­stic cor­rupt poli­ti­cal eli­tes that has lar­ge­ly run the­ir coun­tries as defac­to plan­ta­tions of che­ap labor for the lar­ge­ly US-based big busi­ness resul­ting in gar­gan­tu­an socio-eco­no­mic divi­de and sub­se­qu­ent aban­don­ment of the­ir popu­la­tion to the emer­ged pre­da­to­ry cri­mi­nal class. The sub­se­qu­ent US govts sin­ce 1900s have aided and abet­ted the­se deve­lop­ments thro­ugh coups and indi­rect con­trol of the cen­tral Ame­ri­ca under the guise of fight aga­inst Com­mu­nism that not only impo­ve­ri­shed the­se coun­tries but offe­red no reci­pe for equ­ita­ble deve­lop­ment except of legal and ille­gal migra­tion to El Nor­te to bet­ter one­’s eco­no­mic lot.

The pro­duct of this has been enhan­ced by the inter­net age whe­re the ima­ges of wealth and pro­spe­ri­ty are now ubi­qu­ito­us among the ones who want to reach them witho­ut under­stan­ding a com­plex reali­ty of the Capi­ta­list sys­tem that giveth after it taketh first. In my many conver­sa­tions among refu­ge­es who are seeking a bet­ter futu­re, the faith in bet­ter life on the “otro lado” the other side of the bor­der , is as strong as the faith in the Catho­li­cism , the mirac­les and artic­les of faith thrown in. Unfor­tu­na­te­ly the many bra­ve souls that made the 2000 miles plus trip on foot or by other risky means do not have edu­ca­tio­nal, cul­tu­ral or pro­fes­sio­nal skill set to be able to con­tri­bu­te to the US socie­ty from a get go and the time and effort to get them the­re is bey­ond the US Govt’s poli­ti­cal will and allo­ca­tion of the eco­no­mic reso­ur­ce needed to make it hap­pen. Obvio­usly the site of parents giving up the­ir chil­dren to a com­ple­te stran­gers of Bor­der Patrol is a some­thing that only shows the patho­lo­gi­cal dimen­sion of this pro­blem, often aided with for­tu­ne made by the cri­mi­nal car­tels and pet­ty eco­no­mic oppor­tu­nism that lite­ral­ly puts lives in dan­ger. When I see chil­dren cros­sing the bor­der by them­se­lves I see my own chil­dren in them thus I can­not sim­ply turn my head away and pre­tend that the issue just doesn’t exist or that the Kama­la Har­ris’ ste­ward­ship of the invi­si­ble pro­blem by invi­si­ble mana­ge­ment will solve any­thing. What is needed is a com­pre­hen­si­ve and bi-par­ti­san nation buil­ding effort in Cen­tral Ame­ri­ca that will allow the socie­ty of vic­tims of the deca­des of neglect to rega­in the­ir pla­ce in the­ir own socie­ties witho­ut resor­ting to the 13th Cen­tu­ry-like chil­dren cru­sa­de for digni­ty and hope of bet­ter tomor­row based on reli­gion-like fana­ti­cism. Unfor­tu­na­te­ly this most like­ly will not hap­pen as unli­ke Iraq and Afgha­ni­stan, Cen­tral Ame­ri­ca doesn’t have reso­ur­ces that our cor­po­ra­tions are wil­ling to explo­it. If the situ­ation in Haiti can serve as guide, the hot air rhe­to­ric in the poli­ti­cal foot­ball game of pre­con­ce­ived notions and pro­pa­gan­da will stay the cour­se of poli­ti­cal expe­dien­cy by pro­mo­ting the cure of more neo­li­be­ra­lism that bene­fit the very few over the very many. The real “human rights” inte­rven­tio­nism has to come at the cost of the ongo­ing poli­ti­cal con­trol and agen­das that bene­fit from the sta­tus quo whi­le com­ple­te­ly refor­ming the­se socie­ties to be safe for the­ir popu­la­tions and offer the path to eco­no­mic pro­spe­ri­ty for all, regar­dless of ide­olo­gy of poli­ti­cal and eco­no­mic tools to get the­re Whi­le the failu­re to con­front this pro­blem is evi­dent in the reac­tion to it by Cen­tral Ame­ri­can Govts and US Govt, the only glim­mer of hope lays in actions of the Mexi­can Govt under the leader­ship of its pro­gres­si­ve pre­si­dent Luis Manu­el Lopez Obra­dor ( AMLO). AMLO has anno­un­ced the path of citi­zen­ship to all refu­ge­es cur­ren­tly in Mexi­co along with social secu­ri­ty and work pro­gram that altho­ugh limi­ted gives the undo­cu­men­ted popu­la­tion a way for­ward to sta­bi­li­ze the­ir pre­ca­rio­us situ­ation by a tan­gi­ble step to help natu­ra­li­ze it first. Unfor­tu­na­te­ly the lure of the bet­ter stan­dard of living in a much richer Uni­ted Sta­tes has mesme­ri­zed the migrants to the point of all or nothing appro­ach which many in the US take as sign of eco­no­mic and socie­tal enti­tle­ment. This cre­ates a huge amo­unt of bad will toward the migrants also among Mexi­cans who feel that the­ir gene­ro­us offer is being belit­tled by the ungra­te­ful cen­tral Ame­ri­cans thin­king they dese­rve better.

In short the Gor­dian Knot repre­sen­ted by the cur­rent issue at the US-Mex bor­der will con­ti­nue with the PR half measu­res taking pre­ce­dent over the situ­ation whi­le the defac­to mili­ta­ri­za­tion of the US bor­der will con­ti­nue. The histo­ry has shown that whe­ther the Ber­lin Wall or Gre­at Chi­na Wall of the past they only work as tem­po­ra­ry band aids whi­le the wound behind it only gets wor­se with time. The lack of the ack­now­ledg­ment of its root cau­ses and the lack of its com­pre­hen­si­ve reso­lu­tion is cur­ren­tly an invi­si­ble natio­nal secu­ri­ty cri­sis with only wor­se down­si­de sce­na­rios going for­ward. It is also an indict­ment of poli­ti­cal class in the US and the Cen­tral Ame­ri­ca that allo­wed it to get to this point.

Spe­cial thanks to Fuchs Fami­ly in New Mexico,USA

Spe­cial thanks to Javier Mora in Sono­ra, Mexico

Embas­sy of Hon­du­ras has igno­red inte­rview requests.

Embas­sy of El Salva­dor has igno­red inte­rview requests.

Embas­sy of Guate­ma­la has igno­red inte­rview requests.


Derek Mon­roe