AMAC Exclusive – By Louis J. Senn
As President Joe Biden has moved to rescind the Trump-era Title 42, a decision that border officials say will touch off an unprecedented wave of illegal immigration, even some Democrats are beginning to break with the White House. But while Biden’s open borders policies have been devastating for American border communities, they’ve also emboldened drugs cartels and crime syndicates throughout Latin America, created a humanitarian crisis of unimaginable proportions on the route to the U.S.-Mexico border, and poisoned U.S. relations with our Central and South American neighbors – the very things that the media and elected Democrats breathlessly insisted for four years that President Trump’s policies were doing.
For the few conservative outlets that have consistently focused on the border crisis, much of the attention has appropriately been on how the huge influx of migrants affects Americans. In addition to those tragic consequences, however, the Biden administration’s complete abandonment of border security has also created a ripple effect of suffering and despair throughout the rest of the Americas, undercutting Biden’s claims that he would govern with “compassion” for all people.
Immediately following the 2020 election, people throughout Central and South America expected Biden follow through on his open-borders campaign rhetoric and explicit invitation for migrants to come to the United States. The inevitable result has been the return of massive migrant caravans.
This proved to be a huge opportunity for human trafficking and drug smuggling operations. As Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma recently remarked, “the Biden administration has been the greatest profit maker for the Mexican cartels that we’ve ever seen and their ability to be able to move humans and smuggling and to move drugs across our border.” Some estimates suggest that these cartels make “over a third of their profits from illegal immigration.”
The route to the United States from countries like Guatemala and El Salvador has become a scene of horrors. Many girls and women are raped throughout the journey from their home country to the U.S. border. Injured members of the migrant party are left to die. Finally, many of these cartels torture, rape, or murder simply to show dominance and reinforce widespread fear in the territories they effectively control.
While the Biden administration has paid lip service to combatting human trafficking, their actual policies have only paved the way for more of these crimes to occur. As Mark Morgan, former Acting Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, stated, “If they were really serious about stopping trafficking, they would secure our borders, rather than create an environment for human trafficking to expand and then react to it after it’s already happened.” But a better environment for human trafficking appears to be exactly what’s likely to occur to an even greater extent with the abolition of Title 42.
Biden has also repeatedly said that he wants to support Central American countries from an economic perspective, insisting that creating more opportunity in the so-called “Northern Triangle” nations of Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala will reduce the motivation for people to venture north. He even assigned Vice President Harris to the task, and Harris traveled to Guatemala for a summit with Central American leaders on her first international trip.
However, these overtures at addressing the “root causes” of illegal immigration have had little effect on actually stemming the flow of migrants. Guatemala recently tripled prison sentences for smugglers, but experts believe it will just make the trip more expensive and the migrants more desperate. Moreover, the Guatemalan government appears to have little incentive to actually prosecute these cases, as money that migrants send back home has in recent years kept the economy afloat; even with COVID-19 wreaking havoc on the global economy, Guatemalans sent back $15 billion from the U.S. last year.
In El Salvador, the infamous MS-13 gang has only grown more powerful since Biden took office, and now appears even to be gaining a hold over the El Salvadoran government. As the official homicide rate has declined in the country, the number of “disappearances” has risen drastically. The discovery of mass graves is now commonplace, and corruption in local governments is widespread.
The instability in Central America caused by the Biden administration’s policies has also raised serious national security concerns for the United States. As criminal elements become more influential in those nations, American adversaries like China have seized on the opportunity to gain a foothold in the Western Hemisphere. Late last month, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) warned that the Chinese People’s Liberation Army is “seeking to deepen its engagement in the region by funding the construction of ports and space programs and other dual-use infrastructure.”
By destroying the progress on border security and asylum cooperation agreements forged by the Trump administration, Biden has escalated the issue of illegal immigration to previously unimaginable heights. Through all this, the media continues to act as if Democratic border and immigration policies have nothing to do with the mass suffering now facing millions of people in Central and South America. Accordingly, it looks as if it’ll be up to voters to hold Democrats accountable, both at the polls this fall and in 2024, when Joe Biden, the architect of the border disaster, will have to answer for his actions.
Louis J. Senn is a lawyer living in Louisville, Kentucky. He previously served in the Trump administration.
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