Another Caravan On Its Way To America

The last few days I have seen stories about a new caravan forming in Central America. Today, there are reports that migrants have started crossing into Mexico facing few checks:

The cohort crossed the Guatemalan border into Chiapas state before dawn without needing the wrist bands that Mexican officials on Thursday gave migrants to wear until they could register with authorities, several migrants and an official told Reuters.

“The road today was open,” said Marco Antonio Cortez, 37, a baker from Honduras traveling with his wife and children, ages 2 and 9. “They didn’t give us bracelets or anything, they just let us pass through Mexico migration.” A migration official at the entry point, who asked not to be named because she was not authorized to speak to media, said that at least 1,000 people crossed from Guatemala into Mexico before dawn, without putting on wrist bands.

Asked why migrants did not receive wrist bands, David Leon, the director of civil protection, said authorities faced a caravan of hundreds of people early in the morning and let them pass rather than risk a confrontation.

I am very skeptical of the strategy of relying on Mexico to stem the flow of migrants into the United States. It is also extremely frustrating. The lone superpower in the world cannot protect its borders and has to rely on a third world country known for its corruption and dysfunction. We spend trillions of dollars on the military but it cannot be used to secure our border.

More importantly, Mexico has no incentive to see its border with the United States sealed. For decades, it has used America as a safety valve for its poverty problem. In 2019, remittances to Mexico reached $33.7 billion and account for nearly 3% of GDP. If ever Mexico were to lose remittances, it would likely result in civil unrest. The Mexican ruling class is aware of this and, thus, they will continue to look the other way while appeasing the neighbor in the north with promises of cooperation.

In the long term, the failure to secure the southern border may destabilize the United States. As more and more Americans come to the conclusion that our government is either unable or unwilling to protect the border there is the danger that citizens will take matters into their own hands and it is impossible to know what form that will take. The judiciary branch is in the process of completely de-legitimating itself in the eyes of the American people. “A judge in Hawaii” has become a punchline but in time the joke will wear thin and resentment, anger will set in. The judiciary would be wise to read the first line of the Preamble to the Constitution. Black robes do not confer legitimacy. Only “We the People” do.