NYTimes: Joe Biden’s Migrant Wave Is Building

Honduran migrants, part of a caravan heading to the United States, walk along a road in Camotan, Guatemala on January 16, 2021. - At least 4,500 Honduran migrants pushed past police and crossed into Guatemala Friday night, passing the first hurdle of a journey north they hope will take them …
JOHAN ORDONEZ/AFP via Getty Images

Many migrants are quietly traveling north to the U.S. border to accept President Joe Biden’s apparent offer of asylum and jobs, according to the New York Times. 

“He’s our only hope,” Gabriela, a Bolivian mother with a three-year-old son, told the newspaper, which reported January 28:

With [disease] lockdowns easing in recent months, northbound migration from Central America and elsewhere has been accelerating, with many trying to make it to the United States border and some hoping that with Mr. Biden in office, they stand a better chance of getting in.

An enormous caravan of migrants, numbering as many as 7,000, that set off from San Pedro Sula, Honduras, earlier this month before being broken up by Guatemalan security forces was the most obvious expression of this need and hope. But the uptick is also being felt in smaller ways, including growing numbers of migrants filling shelters along the traditional migratory routes.

“The people aren’t going to be stopped by repression,” said Father Mauro Verzeletti, director of the Casa del Migrante migrant shelter in Guatemala City. “The people are suffering.” Demand is so high, Mr. Verzeletti said, that the shelter recently rented an annex to handle overflow from the main building.

The headline reads, “Biden’s Promise of Immigration Reform Raises Hopes in Latin America.”

The New York Times suggests the migration problem was created by Trump’s broad effort to block labor migration:

The impatience is a reflection of the soaring demand for relief among migrants amid an economically crippling pandemic and after four years of efforts by the Trump administration to choke off both legal and illegal immigration to the United States.

But the problem has a bipartisan, establishment source — the willingness of many GOP politicians to look away while employers illegally hire cheap illegals instead of Americans, and the eagerness of progressives to believe that foreign migrants can be helped without damaging poor Americans.

The result is that the United States government is refusing to enforce its own laws and is instead dangling jobs and good lives to many of the migrants who enter and survive the continental “Hunger Games” trek from thousands of miles south of the United States, through a de facto obstacle course migration system of loans, coyotes, cartels, rape, deserts, weather, border lawsbarriersrescuerstransportjudges, and cheap-labor employers.

Progressives and immigration lawyers blame others — chiefly, ordinary Americans who oppose labor migration — for the resulting multinational economic chaos, misery, and death:

But there is some good news in other media reports.

Trump’s border reforms eventually helped close the Hunger Games obstacle course and so persuaded many poor people to seek relief closer to their homes. “More people are no longer thinking of going to the US,”  Rosario Martinez, a Guatemalan researcher with the Latin American Social Studies Institute, told Al Jazeera on January 26. “What used to be transit countries are now becoming destination countries for many.”

Also, the Mexican and Guatemalan governments may choose to block migration to the United States in the hope that the many Mexican and Guatemalan illegal migrants in the United States will benefit from Biden’s proposed amnesty. If so, the progressives in Biden’s government can minimize their political risks by dumping the unwanted job of blocking Latino migrants onto Latino soldiers and police.

The Christian Science Monitor reported January 26:

Gretchen Kuhner, the director of the Institute for Women in Migration in Mexico City, says Mexico has national interests of its own in keeping levels of migration down …

“Mexico knows very well that if there’s a surge on the [U.S.] border, the political right in the U.S. will make a huge issue of it, and that could impact the legislative proposals for immigration,” says Ms. Kuhner. “That plays into Mexico’s approach.”

 Guatemala may be thinking along similar lines: Remittances sent home to Guatemala by relatives in the U.S. reached record levels during the pandemic, surpassing $1 billion a month by the end of 2020. That’s a lifeline few Guatemalan officials want to jeopardize.

However, that division of labor is uncertain because amnesty alone is very unpopular – as is labor migration — among voters in the United States.

Also, Biden is also using his executive orders to reopen the flow of cheap workers and government-aided consumers into the United States, making it more difficult for Latin-American governments to block migrants.

Biden’s officials recognize and resent the public’s opposition to their loose-border migration preferences.

“Any transition away from what I see as highly draconian policies on the U.S. side, I think will probably have to be done slowly to unwind them, because otherwise, there is a tendency to see this rush to the border, which unfortunately, again, will kick up [American] backlash,” complained Roberta Jacobson, Biden’s top “southern border coordinator” at the White House. Jacobsen spoke June 2020 at a conversation hosted by the pro-migration Migration Policy Institute.

For years, a wide variety of pollsters have shown deep and broad opposition to labor migration — or the hiring of temporary contract workers — into the jobs sought by young U.S. graduates.

The multiracialcross-sexnon-racistclass-basedpriority-driven, and solidarity-themed opposition to labor migration coexists with generally favorable personal feelings toward legal immigrants and toward immigration in theory.

The opposition is built on the widespread recognition that migration moves money from employees to employers, from families to investors, from young to old, from children to their parents, from homebuyers to real estate investors, and from the central states to the coastal states.

Migration also allows investors and CEOs to skimp on labor-saving technology, sideline U.S. minorities, ignore disabled peopleexploit stoop labor in the fields, shortchange labor in the cities, impose tight control and pay cuts on American professionals, corral technological innovation by minimizing the employment of innovative American graduates, undermine Americans’ labor rights, and redirect progressive journalists to cheerlead for Wall Street’s priorities and claims.

Understandably, poor migrants ignore macroeconomics as they hope to work in the United States. “We only want to work,” José Luis Rodríguez Romero, told the New York Times. He was at a shelter in Guatemala City with his wife and three children.

“This [Biden] government will help us. That’s what we hope for.”

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