The White House released Vice President Kamala Harris’s empty report on the “root causes” of labor migration from Central America — but simultaneously distracted media attention by posting a migration-boosting plan attributed to President Joe Biden.
“We’re not seeking to end migration as part of the fabric of this region,” a top administration official told reporters during a July 28 briefing on the two reports, adding:
What we’re seeking to change the ways in which people migrate, to provide an alternative to the criminal smuggling and trafficking rings, and to give people access to opportunity and protection [in the United States] through safe legal channels.
The Harris plan is titled “U.S. Strategy for Addressing the Root Cause of Migration in Central America. It urges international investment in the Northern Triangle countries – Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala — plus efforts to reduce corruption and increase trade.
But Harris’ 18-page plan is hollow because it does not mention the U.S. government’s role in enabling and inviting migration. The plan is also silent about which U.S. agency is responsible for each aspect of the plan or how much money they will be allowed for each task. The emptiness of the report is spotlighted by a cliched cover letter from Harris:
Ultimately, our Administration will consistently engage in the region to address the root causes of migration. We will build on what works, and we will pivot away from what does not work. It will not be easy, and progress will not be instantaneous, but we are committed to getting it right. Because we know: The strength and security of the United States depends on the implementation of strategies like this one
The Republican National Committee posted an email jeering at the Harris report.
The 18-page report she released today on “root causes” is a joke. It only mentions “undocumented” once, does not say the word “illegal” at all, and if anything, it admits that terrible messaging from the Biden administration played a role in spurring the crisis.
The true “root cause” of their border crisis is Biden’s open borders agenda. Until Biden and Harris recognize that, it will keep getting worse and worse.
The RNC post does not mention Biden’s more-migration report.
The Harris plan does not even acknowledge the huge economic and political damage that is done to Central America by the U.S. government’s de-facto policy of extracting young workers from Central America for use by U.S. companies.
Since January, Biden’s welcome for migrants has pulled at least 600,000 migrants across the border, including roughly 400,000 workers and at least 300,000 people who were allowed to sneak across the border.
The Harris plan absolves the U.S. government — and her allies in the pro-migration groups — for the international damage caused by their labor extraction policy. Instead, she blamed the Central American governments:
Persistent instability and insecurity in Central America have gone on for too long. Poverty and economic inequality, pervasive crime and corruption, and [Central American] political leaders’ drift toward authoritarian rule have stunted economic growth and diverted critical resources from healthcare and education, robbing citizens of hope and spurring migration.
Many activists in Central American — including El Salvador’s president — says the U.S. policy of extracting workers and young people is damaging because it stalls the region’s economic and political development and strengthens authoritarian governments and drug networks.
“One of the effects of emigration is [the] erosion of human capital, which can have a negative impact on the economic and social development of the countries of origin,” said a 2005 report by the United Nations. A 2020 report by the Texas Public Policy Foundation spotlighted one example of an economic loss.
Alonso Benítez was considered a model farmer, growing organic coffee in Honduras’ western highlands. In recent years, he had switched to organic methods, planted timber-producing trees to diversify his income, and worked with a cooperative to earn a premium on the world price. Benítez also had a large extended family in the area, who pitched in with harvests and lowered his labor costs.
But Benítez vanished one day in April 2019 with his 17-year-old son, leaving an elder, 18-year-old son to oversee the farm … After spending four days in the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, the pair were released and went to Houston—where Benítez found work in a [U.S.] gravel pit.
The Harris report was launched in March when Biden directed her to work with “the countries that need help in stemming the movement of so many folks, stemming the migration to our southern border.” Harris and her staff immediately redefined Biden’s unwanted “stemming” order into an academic-style study of “root causes” of migration.
Harris may have welcomed the eclipse of her “root causes” report by the simultaneous release of the Biden pro-migration plan. The eclipse will help her avoid criticism from the many pro-migration progressives and business groups in her West Coast political network.
One million migrants have crossed the border since October, according to a June 29 report by CNN. https://t.co/E1N4UjOKeK
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) July 2, 2021
The Biden plan, dubbed the “Collaborative Migration Management Strategy” (CMMS), discards Harris’ “root causes” narrative. Instead, it mandates the extraction of even more young Central Americans so they can labor in Americans’ workplaces and rent apartments in Americans’ real estate.
“What you’ll hear about today is collaborative migration management with regional partners and addressing the root causes of migration,” according to a White House transcript of a closed-door July 28 briefing to a few reporters by a “senior administration official.” The official continued:
So, success in building a fair, orderly, and humane immigration system won’t come overnight, but we do have a blueprint to get us there … That’s a centerpiece of the CMMS that — is, you know, very ambitiously expanding access to legal pathways, both to the United States and to various other countries. And we’re doing a lot of work already to try to bring other countries to the table to multiply the number of legal pathways — countries like Canada, Costa Rica, Spain, and elsewhere. There’s actually a lot of momentum on that front, and it’s very encouraging.
So, we’re really excited. And again, just to note, this is the first of its kind, and I think we really believe that with the combination of ambitious root causes and migration management strategy that we really and truly have an impact in this region.
On page 12, the Biden plan says the migrants — including workers, spouses, children, and older relatives — will be extracted by several programs. The extraction programs include:
The Central American Minors program which is being used to fly spouses, children, and parents to economic migrants who have established themselves in the United States.
The United States Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP), which is now being used to pull international refugees from Costa Rica.
The uncapped H-2A and the 90,00o-per-year H-2B visa-worker programs which deliver skilled foreign workers to take the place of better-paid Americans in farms, farm-machine companies, landscapers, resorts, hotels, fish processors, forests, restaurants, and construction firms.
The report detailed Biden’s plans to expand the work-visa programs, which are now principally to extract cheap and compliant Mexican workers for use in Americans’ labor market:
The United States will enhance outreach and engagement with U.S. employers; work with Northern Triangle governments, international organizations, civil society, and the private sector to develop a more robust pipeline of Northern Triangle nationals who can meet the needs of U.S. employers when there are insufficient U.S. workers who are qualified and available to perform the work; assist the Northern Triangle governments with registering and vetting workers; connect workers with U.S. employers; and engage with labor unions and worker rights organizations to identify ways to improve transparency in the recruitment process and overall worker protections.
The White House transcript did not identify the reporters who were invited to ask questions, and none of whom showed any skepticism about the reports or even asked about the impact on working Americans who will lose more wages and jobs to Central American migrants. The questions included:
“I was hoping you could talk a little bit about updates on how we’ll be supporting prosecutorial efforts in Central America? asked “Franco.”
“Why do you guys see the reason that Mexicans are trying to cross illegally the northern border of Mexico to be in the United States if Mexico has a better economy now?” asked another unidentified reporter
REVEALED: Thousands of migrants, enrolled in the "Remain in Mexico" program, released into the U.S. interior are resettled in Florida and Texas. https://t.co/S5vtgdXfiH
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) May 6, 2021
“In terms of the strategy that you mentioned, how much of that is based on enforcement south of our border? … [and] as you know with asylum seekers, they sometimes have to leave within a 24-hour window, if less. So how does this strategy address those migrants?” asked a reporter named “Priscilla.”
Breitbart News was not invited to the briefing.
Overall, legal and illegal migration moves wealth from employees to employers, from families to investors, from young to old, from children to their parents, from homebuyers to investors, from technology to stoop labor.
Immigration also moves wealth from heartland red states to the coastal blue states. Within each state, the extraction policy also helps move wealth and status from the GOP’s rural districts to the Democrats’ cities.