The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Friday, October 26, 2018

The Caravan

Countries in Central America have significant economic and political problems. Jobs are scarce, governance is often corrupt, gang violence driven by drug cartels is rampant, and people suffer. This situation is not new—in fact, despite decades of U.S. aid that winds up in the pockets of political elites in those countries, the situation hasn't gotten much better and often gets worse. Add to this the new thrust of those on the left to aggressively support and encourage mass migrations from downtrodden countries to modern Western economies, and we have "The Caravan."

Sure, on a relative scale a caravan of 7,000 Guatemalans is small (when compared, for example, to the mass migration of millions of Muslims into Europe), but it represents the same dynamic. The Left argues that it's all about a humanitarian crisis and the immigrants must be allowed to enter. The right argues that national sovereignty must be protected and the caravan must be turned back at the border. In the United States our current laws provide for many mechanisms to game our immigration system, allowing people to enter the country and disappear.

The trained hamsters in the media, who invariably support the Left, are quick to publish heart-rending pictures of down-trodden woman and children, who oddly, represent only a small percentage of the overall immigrant flow. In the main, these immigrant flows are populated by young men, often between the ages of 18 and 35 who are economic refugees. They are looking for work. It's also true that a very small percentage of those men have been proven to be bad actors, but let's not dwell on that.

The media hamsters are oddly uninterested in the many organizations and sponsors who coordinate these massive flows of people. Even a relatively small caravan needs: food and water, travel coordination (they do NOT walk the entire distance), medical care, sanitary facilities, and legal assistance when they reach our borders. Nor are the hamsters concerned about the manner in which vulnerable people are used as props for the sponsors' virtue signaling. Nor are they focused on the creation of yet another Caravan, already forming in Central America.

It appears that the Left wants to use The Caravan as an October surprise that will sway voters to elect Democrats in November. After all, the plight of vulnerable Central American woman and children is heart-wrenching, not to mention that it's media gold. But like the Kavanaugh hearings in September, which backfired badly on the Left, the caravan is likely to yield the same result.

Daniel Henninger comments on the Kavanaugh strategy:
Early voting patterns are fickle as a predictor of final results, but the consistency of the trend reported this week by NBC News and TargetSmart is striking. Early voting by GOP-affiliated voters is running ahead of Democrats in seven key states: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Montana, Tennessee and Texas. Early-voting Democrats lead only in Nevada. This pattern is the opposite of assumptions about relative levels of enthusiasm.

Another tea-leafy metric associated with midterm election outcomes is presidential approval. In early September, when Democrats were involved in the normal phase of the Kavanaugh hearings, President Trump’s approval average on Real Clear Politics was at its lowest level since March—40.6%. On Sept. 18, simultaneous with the nation’s daily doses of Ford versus Kavanaugh, Mr. Trump’s approval began to climb. It now sits at a 44.1% average. It just hit 47% in the Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll.
Hmmm. Could it be that #MeToo orthodoxy and the new demand that men are guilty until proven innocent just doesn't resonate with the majority of voters? And if that's the case, could it be that uncontrolled (and illegal) mass migration that has been coordinated to disrupt voter sentiment prior to an election might be viewed as a slow motion invasion that must be stopped?

Despite the current Leftist narrative that Americans are inherently racist, xenophobic, and otherwise uncaring, we live in a country whose past and present actions do NOT support that strident meme. The majority of Americans recognize that the plight of many in Central Americans is serious, but at the same time, recognize that we must maintain protected borders, we must honor those immigrants who have followed the rules for entry, and we must label someone a refugee only if their lives are in imminent danger.

Henninger comments on the Caravan:
Conventional wisdom would hold that a migrant wave landing on the U.S. border around Election Day would revive the public-relations debacle the Trump administration endured with the family-separation mess in Texas this summer.

Nor is any effort being spared this week to convey the impression that just as the Republicans last month were antiwoman, this month they’re anti-immigrant ...

Unfortunately for the Democrats, the Honduran caravan is the Kavanaugh nomination all over again. (A second one with thousands is forming now in Guatemala.) It’s a massive event that forces voters to think about immigration, an issue Democrats thought had been weaponized this summer against Republicans.

To borrow an old Marx Brothers joke, the question about the caravan for voters is: Who are you going to believe, media or your own eyes? Tens of millions of Americans have been staring for a week at the images of this caravan and asking: What exactly are we expected to do when it arrives in Texas?
The Democrats refuse to answer that question when asked and are in witness protection when asked for a viable solution on the broader issue of immigration reform. At the moment, the more extreme Leftists in the party propose opening the borders, creating sanctuary cities, and/or abolishing ICE. Not really a solution.

There's one thing that is an absolute guarantee. If every Guatemalan, very Honduran, every Mexican, and every other "refugee/migrant/undocumented immigrant" was allowed to vote legally and indicated that they would cast that vote for the GOP, Democrats would be at the border right now with shovels and hammers, building "the Wall" themselves.


The Dems will probably take control of the Congress in 2019, where it's likely they'll spend all of their time investigating Donald Trump and trying their best to impeach him. Instead, our moral betters in the Democratic party might consider taking some time out to formulate legislation that will allow our country to deal with mass migrations. After all, only the Dems understand this issue and are humanitarians, so who better to draft plans to address it?

Matthew Continetti makes a few suggestions:
...Our moral imagination asks us to put ourselves in the shoes of these families, denizens of failed states that offer neither personal nor economic security, lured here by the promise of a better future, and encouraged by cynical politicians and nongovernmental organizations eager to strike a blow against "The Empire" and its president.

But humanitarianism only gets you so far. In this case, our desire to help strangers unintentionally contributed to a mounting crisis that benefits no nation. And to which we have not responded adequately. Yes, calling in the Army is fine. The agencies on the ground need help. What they ultimately require, however, is congressional action.

Amend the 2008 law to accelerate repatriations, address Flores in legislation that permits indefinite detention of family units, and tighten the standards for asylum. Provide more money for beds, judges, and bureaucrats to speed up legal proceedings. Announce forcefully and unequivocally that it is the citizens of the United States, acting through their elected representatives, who decide the conditions and criteria under which individuals are allowed to enter this nation.
As I mentioned in the body of this post, the Dems are surprisingly quiet on proposing solutions to this issue. If they persist in their passive-aggressive approach to border security and at the same time quietly support the entry of tens of thousands of illegal immigrants, they'll be on the wrong side of public sentiment and the wrong side of history. They will pay a political price in 2020. Maybe winning the Congress isn't such a good idea after all, because with that win, comes political responsibility.