Donald Trump wants it both ways. In other news….

Updates

  1. Originally published, November 4, 11:29 am.
  2. November 4, 10:45 pm:

Unauthorized migration

As I explained in my dissertation,[1] the first thing and most important thing to understand about people fleeing Central America is that the conditions that drive them north are, in significant part, the product of U.S. policy. The not very “new” drug gangs that now merit the Wall Street Journal’s attention[2] and that now supplement but do not replace the cartels are a nimble response to the drug war’s closing of some transit routes. As the Journal notes, they have dramatically increased the violence in Central American villages—and certainly not just in El Salvador. The Journal is also considerably less anxious to acknowledge the North American Free Trade Agreement’s and Central American Free Trade Agreement’s ruin of Mexican and Central American farmers, driving entire communities into dire poverty, which these people also flee.

Donald Trump and his crowd are thus trying to have it both ways: They want to preserve the policies that push people north but have the people remain in intolerable conditions. They treat an arduous and highly dangerous trek as if it is too easy by seeking to build a border wall and sending in the military[3] but do nothing about the desperation that drives these people.

And as for the militia,[4] they should have joined or stayed in the military, where they can have the shoot-em-up adventures they so desperately long for and which the U.S. continues to enthusiastically pursue.

Philip Bump, “Trump’s 15,000 border troops would top the number stationed in 160 countries,” Washington Post, November 1, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2018/11/01/trumps-border-troops-would-top-number-stationed-countries/

CBS News, “Mexican official offers buses to migrant caravan to go to Mexico City or ‘to the place they wish,'” November 2, 2018, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/migrant-caravan-veracruz-miguel-angel-yunes-offers-transportation-today-2018-11-2/

Robbie Whelan, “Why Are People Fleeing Central America? A New Breed of Gangs Is Taking Over,” Wall Street Journal, November 2, 2018, https://www.wsj.com/articles/pay-or-die-extortion-economy-drives-latin-americas-murder-crisis-1541167619

Mary Lee Grant and Nick Miroff, “U.S. militia groups head to border, stirred by Trump’s call to arms,” Washington Post, November 3, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/us-militia-groups-head-to-border-stirred-by-trumps-call-to-arms/2018/11/03/ff96826c-decf-11e8-b3f0-62607289efee_story.html


  1. [1]David Benfell, “Conservative Views on Undocumented Migration” (doctoral dissertation, Saybrook, 2016). ProQuest (1765416126).
  2. [2]Robbie Whelan, “Why Are People Fleeing Central America? A New Breed of Gangs Is Taking Over,” Wall Street Journal, November 2, 2018, https://www.wsj.com/articles/pay-or-die-extortion-economy-drives-latin-americas-murder-crisis-1541167619
  3. [3]Philip Bump, “Trump’s 15,000 border troops would top the number stationed in 160 countries,” Washington Post, November 1, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2018/11/01/trumps-border-troops-would-top-number-stationed-countries/
  4. [4]Mary Lee Grant and Nick Miroff, “U.S. militia groups head to border, stirred by Trump’s call to arms,” Washington Post, November 3, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/us-militia-groups-head-to-border-stirred-by-trumps-call-to-arms/2018/11/03/ff96826c-decf-11e8-b3f0-62607289efee_story.html

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