Some of us are old enough to remember with great clarity and detail a movie from the early 1980’s that depicted the exodus of Cuban refugees that washed up on the shores of south Florida. The movie, Scarface, was particularly unsettling because of the degree of violence that it portrayed. Simply put, the movie mirrored real-life events that swirled around the expansion of illegal activities of international drug cartels and the intersection of the wave of recent Cuban immigrants.
So, what has an old movie about immigration, violence, and drug cartels have to do with today? Maybe nothing…but then again, history has a way of repeating itself.
Let’s take off our respective Left or Right political fedoras, stop our intellectual sparring, and consider a few things about the way in which America is literally opening its doors to new immigrants along its southern border with Mexico.
The meaning of an open-door immigration policy is self-explanatory: if you make it “through the door” (or through convenient openings in the infamous border wall), then “you’re in.” Welcome to America.
In 1980, in a humanitarian gesture that invoked worldwide recognition, America “opened its doors” to a mass exodus of Cuban refugees who were leaving their families and homeland in search of a better life in the land of the free. I remember watching the American news channels that showed boatloads of tearful Cubans as they set foot on the “promised land.” It was epic, almost biblical.
This is what was happening on the surface: happy refugees coming to a new country to start new lives. What could be more heartwarming than that?
But, as is often the case, what we see with our eyes maybe just a mirage – a carefully orchestrated deception. This was the case in 1980. You see, Castro had other plans to take full advantage of America’s generous gift of an “open-door” immigration policy. He used the “open-door” immigration policy to “open other doors” in Cuba.
But what other doors? The doors to prisons and mental institutions.
Castro made sure that the “boatloads of refugees” included criminals, political prisoners, and people with mental disorders. In his mind, he “swept the house clean” of Cuba’s “undesirables.”
Now, Central American countries are presented with the same opportunity that was put before Castro some four decades ago. What will they do?
Is it too late or perhaps even too brash and insensitive to consider another possibility? What have they already done?
A few weeks ago, I watched a TV program that consisted of an interview with President Nayib Bukele, El Salvador’s leader who was elected in 2019. He came across as an impressive individual, practical, thoughtful, and in full control of his understanding of the issues facing his country.
Here is a quote from that TV interview:
“It’s obvious: Our country has failed to provide two basic things which are the two main drivers of immigration, which is the lack of economic opportunity and the lack of security.
Most people don’t want to leave their country. They like their culture, they like their food, they like their weather, it’s their country. They have their family members here and their friends.”
President Nayib Bukele suggested that mass immigration is “not profitable” for either country, as it causes workers to leave El Salvador and forces the United States to spend money on border security and migrant processing.
I remember what I thought as I watched this interview. This guy is sharp. He really understands the situation that he has to deal with in regard to trying to stop the flow of migrants from his country to the USA.
That was then. Now, perhaps I have to consider that it may have been just another “mirage.”
Where is all this doubt coming from? In simple terms, it may just be coming down to the most apolitical of considerations – the choice is not based on political rhetoric but rather on economics.
It makes good economic sense for Central American countries to follow in Castro’s footsteps and send all of their “undesirables” to America. They can easily cross the border, disappear into a gigantic human pool of over 330 million, and hardly be noticed.
This is the unseen risk that results from a porous national border. The current administration is surely aware of this risk and has decided that it is worth taking in exchange for what they perceive will be “millions” of favourable votes.
It goes without saying that the strategy of deflect, deceive and deploy is working like a well-oiled machine.
Deflection occurs because of the almost singular focus on how children are being dealt with at the border.
Deception occurs because, just like how an iceberg sits mostly underwater, the real danger is not children but rather adults.
And finally, deployment is fully underway as large caravans of “migrants” make their way to the southern border.
Unintended consequences are really hard to predict and even harder to assess and deal with once they manifest themselves. What will be the unintended consequences of the “open border” policy?
That question will be answered in time.
Texas border towns may be providing the first clues. They are under a great deal of stress trying to deal with an initial flood of humanity that is overtaking their hospitals and social services. Residents that need medical attention are being forced to seek it elsewhere.
The unintended consequences of “mass migration” are slowly starting to emerge. Ironically, conditions at the US southern border and their impact on America itself may be what changes the country from “woke” to “awake.”
(*Ivan thoughts: In my view, Biden’s strategy is quite simple and will be effective in the long-term. Why? Because the idea of open borders will likely mean those who enter the country illegally will eventually be able to vote – and they’ll almost always vote in favour of the policies that allowed them to escape their country; in other words, they’ll vote Democrat. Do people really think it’s a coincidence that many of the top CEO’s have come out against Georgia’s new voting law, whereby they claim it restricts access to black voters – yet, not one has explained why it actually restricts access? The main premise of the law is to ensure people have ID’s to vote, and mail-in ballots must be requested, with ID verification. Is that so bad?)