The Department of Homeland Security disseminated a recently drafted mass migration plan which includes a focus on a “Whole of Western Hemisphere” approach as a solution to the worsening border crisis. Part of the plan includes efforts to improve living conditions outside the United States as the country contends with the hottest inflation since 1982.
The agency’s outreach plan includes a focus on working with countries throughout the hemisphere on issues such as job creation, credit access, improved law enforcement cooperation, and stimulating industry. The document shifts blame for the immigration crisis away from pull factors within the United States.
The draft goals include:
Promote appropriate policies on migration, promote savings and investment opportunities to create jobs, and develop sustainable means of livelihood for the poorest and most vulnerable sectors.
Recognize remittances as an important source of capital in many countries of the hemisphere.
Strengthen social inclusion of migrants.
Increasing access to credit and micro-credit
Improving security, among other factors, so that the impulse to migrate is reduced.
Stimulating industrial and technology sectors.
Ensure appropriate legal protections, defense of human rights, and safe and healthy labor conditions for migrants.
Reduce their vulnerable conditions at work.
The document, provided by a senior level Department of Homeland Security source, lists several factors abroad which are reportedly contributing to the increase in irregular migration to the United States. Among them, COVID-19, extreme weather, earthquakes, and severe economic decline. All, according to the document, have been worsened by climate change.
The document offers little hope of increased enforcement along the southwest border. The CDC Title 42 emergency authority that allows for swift expulsion of some migrants from the United States is predicted to cause an additional surge of migrants in short order. As reported by Breitbart Texas, the program will soon end. On Friday, the CDC announced the end of the program effective May 23 and will no longer be used as a removal mechanism for migrants who enter the United States illegally.
The new mass migration plan fails to address domestic pull factors. Several programs for migrant removal pathways developed under the Trump administration were cancelled in the early days of the Biden White House. These programs included international agreements with Central American countries known as Asylum Cooperative Agreements (ASA). These agreements provided a safe third country for asylum applicants to await the adjudication of petitions.
The Migrant Protection Protocols, another Trump era policy, also known as the Remain in Mexico program, was discontinued as well. Under the program, tens of thousands of migrants were forced to wait in Mexico as the asylum process unfolded. Although reinstated by a federal court order, the Biden Administration is not subjecting most migrants to the program and are instead allowing many to remain in the United States to wait.
The recently distributed DHS Southern Border Mass Irregular Migration Contingency Plan is likely to prove a costly solution to the expected increase in migrants encountered at the southern border.
U.S. Combating ‘Root Cause’ Aid Amounts Per Year
2021-24 (Total Projection) — $4 billion
2016 — $750 million
2015 — $560 million
2014 — $260 million
President Biden has pledged to invest $4 billion throughout his presidency to address root causes of migration in Central America. As of October 2021, the Biden Administration has provided more than $331 million in humanitarian assistance for Central America and Mexico. As Vice President, Biden oversaw previous attempts to use U.S. tax dollars to address root causes in 2014. That year, Biden met with Central American leaders in Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador pledging more than $260 million to address a wave of unaccompanied migrant children arriving at the U.S.-Mexico Border and other security issues in the area. In 2016, $750 million were sent to the region in another attempt to address root causes of migration. This amount represented a 34 percent increase over the $560 million allocated to the region in 2015.
The infusion of additional funding to Northern Triangle Central American governments is likely to find its way into the coffers of those least intended to receive them. Governments in the region have a history of corruption. According to the Council on Foreign Relations, corruption in the Northern Triangle results in the loss of $13 billion per year, or more than 5% of GDP.
Randy Clark is a 32-year veteran of the United States Border Patrol. Prior to his retirement, he served as the Division Chief for Law Enforcement Operations, directing operations for nine Border Patrol Stations within the Del Rio, Texas, Sector. Follow him on Twitter @RandyClarkBBTX.