Monday, October 29, 2018

"Why would a Central American leave Central America to recreate it in America?"

Victor Davis Hanson writes at American Greatness,
A“caravan”—the euphemism for a current foot-army of more than 10,000 Central Americans—of would-be border crossers has now passed into Mexico. The marchers promise they will continue 1,000 miles and more northward to the U.S. border, despite warnings from President Trump that as unauthorized immigrants they will be turned away. No one has yet explained how, or by whom or what, such a mass of humanity has been supplied, cared for, and organized.

Once at the border, the immigrants further predict that they will successfully, but illegally, enter the United States, then claim refugee status, and finally rely on sympathetic public opinion—and progressive political activism—to avoid deportation.

Refugees, True and False
Central Americans claim they are “refugees,” forced out of their homes by violence and endemic lawlessness to save their very lives by migrating to the United States. They insist on that rationale because of quirks in American law that make it more difficult to deport resident “refugees” (especially those with small children) than ordinary illegal aliens seeking improved economic conditions inside the United States.

Yet the migrants are now for the most part well inside Mexico. The Mexican government has generously offered succor. No one is threatening their lives. Mexico has even offered temporary residence for those who seem to have good grounds to be admitted as true political refugees.

In response, the caravan migrants have ignored those offers, because the vast majority are not true refugees. They are mostly no different from the millions of illegal aliens who have entered the United States for higher wages, for the chance to send remittances to their families back home, and for the generous entitlements of American social services that supplement entry-level wages and subsidize remittances. (We keep ignoring that a 15 to 20 percent federal tax on all remittances sent from the U.S. to Central America and Mexico—around $60 billion a year—would, along with a wall, provide a deterrent to caravan immigration.)

...Would not Mexico be a much better place of refuge for the caravan people, given multiple affinities of ethnicity, language, history, and culture?

...It is not infrequent to hear from American ethnic activists that the current Spanish-speaking migrants are only “reclaiming” their ancestral frontiers in North America (as in American settlers took it from Mexican nationals who took it from the Spanish who took it from indigenous peoples who took it from other indigenous peoples).

Apparently, it is not the fear of Honduras that drives the caravans, but instead the desire to be among foreign Americans—more specifically, to live in a society blessed with constitutional law, protections of private property, free-market capitalism, open inquiry, individual rights, religious tolerance, gender and racial equity, due process, and an independent judiciary? And where exactly did that tradition arise that now oddly seems to work like a magnet for Latin Americans? If the United States is deemed so desirable, why could not the American paradigm be xeroxed in naturally rich, fertile, and inherently wealthy Central America and Mexico?

Immigrants, the ancestors of most of us, enriched our food, music, fashion, art, and literature by importing ideas, customs and practices from their mother countries, but they do not tamper with our core that has guaranteed our success: religious and political tolerance, adherence to the U.S. Constitution, English as the official language, free-market capitalism, and individual liberty.

No doubt some in the caravan are genuine political refugees seeking their salvation in America. A few already may have applied in their home consulates for legal residence and may already be learning English and the peculiarities of the U.S. Constitution.

But that is not the image the caravan conveys. For some reason, the caravan is a paradox, a contradiction and an irony of many thousands who are quite eager to violate U.S. law, to make claims upon their would-be host without serious reflection about why they are leaving one nation and demanding entrance into another—with the full expectation that their new home has no right to demand that all would-be guests fleeing lawlessness should first abide by laws.
Read more here.

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