The reasons for “Immigration”, or in the wider sense of the word, people moving from their home country to another country, legally, illegally, as refugees, opportunity seekers, or what have you, is all part of a mosaic. This mosaic includes pieces drawn from a plethora of factors; Economic, quality of life issues, levels of criminality and lack of security, corruption of officials and police, and amongst all these factors and vectors that drive emigration from a country, war could be the predominant factor. When an individual or his family can be killed at any time, that can be a most compelling reason to leave.
As far as the United States and it’s immigration issues…Militarization, violence, and virtual war are the major factors. Issues involving Chinese are another issue. They have another situation. Their almost scientific exploitation of the native born clause in the constitution, leading to an almost assembly line operation to produce anchor babies, also their strategic silence about drawing attention to themselves make them unique. They are a whole other issue. Another column. Another time.
The militarization and virtual war that we can affect, concerns, in the main, Central America and Mexico. American Aid to the region has been in the main a disaster.
And will continue to be. Other than the fact that most of the money goes to the bureaucracy, various skimmers and the rich families and oligarchies, there are other bad outcomes. The militarization and war funding that the United States did so much of in the 1980’s was tied to the war on communism, which the United States essentially won. Of course, with the assistance of Communism itself, being a crappy and unworkable idea that eventually was bound to run it’s course.
Without skipping a beat, the justification for military and police aid, switched to fighting the evil drugs. And as in the previous war on communism, many, many people would die for an extremely dubious cause. The El Salvadoran Civil War and the Sandanista-Contra War and the Guatemalan Right Wing Slaughter in the 1980’s were all holocausts that happened then and sent shock waves throughout the following decades. This was the time of the first tsunami of Central American refugees to the United States.
Then came the cocaine cowboys from Columbia and every Latin nation to their North fell into line to get the product into the United States. It hasn’t stopped since then and it never will. These are not nations but pipelines. With Narcos earning just as much, or more than the governments in which they operate, they infiltrate everything. And when the police and army are more than a little corrupt, they are totally corrupt. Not only do they run the drugs, but now that they are crooked, they run the smaller extortion and kidnapping gangs, they take over prostitution, and counterfeit merchandise, and are involved in all rackets large and small. Or at least they take pay offs from the racketeers.
There is no money to be made from protecting the common people, so they are on their own.
Again as in the last cold war against communism that turned hot in Central America, the United States has been and still is pouring money and war material into the Central American Countries. And so the game goes on.
While politically it may be impossible to end this so called “War On Drugs” perhaps we can reduce the costs and the consequences of playing the game. We can reduce penalties and violence, with sensible rules to reduce the cost of the sport. Much as in the combat sports, where there should be no eye-gouging, hair pulling, biting, head butting, no rabbit punching, no kicks or punches to the groin, or to joints. None of that. The level of incarceration and state violence need to ameliorate from extreme to sustainable. Only moderate, to minimum violence on the part of the state actors. In return Narcos would realize that extreme violence would be counter-productive, and so would calm way down; but of course for those that don’t play by the rules and commit violent infractions, there should be severe penalties. We are talking here about a major de-escalation of conflict.
There are instances in the past where de-escalations have happened, many times unofficially, in fact many times in the past. In the canons of the law, are many ridiculous and unenforceable regulations that are no longer acted on, but are still on the books. The Dutch for many years had Marijuana still illegal but made no arrests on it. Perhaps the Drug Enforcement gang would confiscate a certain percentage of drugs, impose a civil fine then have the gang try again, so they could have a chance to fine them again.
Much like at one time when Mexico had prohibitions on American refrigerators and electronics so prohibitively high that American pilots would smuggle these items in small planes into Mexico. There would be a fine, but no jail, because of course, the Mexicans couldn’t wait to have a chance to catch the contrabandistas again, and make more money.
Taking the drug war seriously is a foolish business. An un-winnable war should not be fought. It should be settled. Money and military aid are to violence as fuel is to fire. Let the fire die. Let the people live.
Latin America, especially Central and Northern Latin America, should have a chance to live and pursue happiness and that will make Americans more happy too!