Illegal migrants from Latin America have always been a problem for the United States, and with the coming to power of Joe Biden, it turned into a real crisis. Every month, 100-150 thousand people arrive in the country. Opponents of the new president believe that his administration is not in control of the situation, and call on Biden to urgently address the issue of border security. They claim that soon the flow of illegal immigrants will become uncontrolled.
“While we are talking here, thousands of people are arriving at the border. Millions of people will pour into our country, and this will destroy it, “former US President Donald Trump told the Republican Fox News channel at the end of March. “The escalating crisis at the border is a humanitarian disaster that President Biden’s words and actions have provoked,” Florida Senator Marco Rubio continued. “It’s only going to get worse.”
The situation looks so alarming that even the Russian Foreign Ministry found it necessary to draw the attention of the international community to it. “The situation requires urgent intervention by the UN, other international structures, and human rights NGOs,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.
There are about 18,000 minors in overcrowded deportation detention centers. Their parents are literally storming the southern borders of the United States; the account of the detainees has already exceeded a hundred thousand. According to US media estimates, up to a thousand people cross the border illegally every day.
From the outside, it may seem that politicians are exaggerating, but official statistics show the opposite. According to the US Customs and Border Protection Service, the situation on the southern border is probably even getting worse. If in February about 100 thousand people crossed the border, then in March — already 170 thousand, and by the end of May – more than 180 thousand. However, what is behind these figures?
“You are in a drug trafficking zone!”
You face the problem of illegal immigrants in San Diego in the most unexpected places. For example, on a freeway, unusual road signs periodically come across: a man and a woman hold the hands of a child and run across the highway. This means that here, Mexican illegal immigrants, fleeing from border guards, can suddenly run right under the wheels.
There are many national parks near the border, but walking in them is recommended with caution. At the entrance there are posters: “You are in the zone of illegal migration and drug trafficking. Be vigilant! ” At the border, you get used to seeing the detention of illegal immigrants. Everything looks quite idyllic: violators sit near cars of special services and greedily drink water while border guards draw up protocols.
However, recently there have been more detentions, and this is even noticeable to the naked eye. So, recently, residents of San Diego on an evening walk could watch how three groups of caught illegal immigrants were escorted at once. In addition, previously only adults were caught in groups, and in May there was the detention of teenagers as well. On May 3, a real tragedy occurred in the vicinity of San Diego: a boat with 32 illegal immigrants crashed into a rock, killing three people.
The border has become difficult for everyone to cross — even those who have all the necessary documents. If earlier the passage through the checkpoint took about five minutes, now the same procedure stretches for hours, and many kilometers of queues are built near the points.
The fact is that many illegal immigrants try to sell the border guards any papers, hoping that this will be enough for “good grandpa Joe.” Even certificates from medical posts about fixing beatings are used.
Near the “dreamland”
What makes Mexicans, despite all the risks; try to enter the United States illegally? The answer to this question becomes clear as soon as you move from San Diego to Tijuana, Mexico — a city on the other side of the border. Overnight, from a developed country, you find yourself in a typical third-world state: dilapidated houses, broken pavements, beggars on the streets.
A native of Mexico can earn almost ten times more in the United States in a month than at home. For the sake of money, people are willing to take risks and overcome any difficulties. And it would be a mistake to assume that only Mexicans dream of making their way to the United States. A similar situation is observed everywhere in Latin America.
Today, one of the most prestigious professions on the Mexican border is “coyote.” This is the name of the guides who guide illegal immigrants across the border. Their services are not cheap, not everyone can afford them. And those who once came to Tijuana in the hope of getting to the United States, but could not pay for the services of a guide, do not always return home. Right next to the border fences in Tijuana are thousands of tents and other primitive dwellings built out of cardboard boxes-people from almost all the poor countries of Latin America settle there. Even the police do not venture into these slums unless necessary.
Usually, Latin Americans arrive in Guatemala, where people with any citizenship are allowed, and from there they get through all of Mexico to the coveted American border. “I didn’t have a Mexican visa, so I decided to make my way to Tijuana through Mexico illegally,” says Juan, a Guatemalan. — There were two others with me: a Nicaraguan and a Salvadoran. The Mexican-Guatemalan border is not guarded, but in Mexico itself, the police hunt for illegal immigrants.”
“Here it is important to wash regularly so that you do not stink: the cops on buses calculate illegal immigrants by the smell. The second danger is the Mexican bandits, who often rob people like us,” Juan, an illegal migrant from Guatemala, said.
Juan and his fellow travelers were lucky: they reached their destination in just a week by bus. “However, once we still got caught by the police, but for a bribe of a hundred dollars from the nose, we were released on all four sides. In Tijuana, you don’t have to hide — there are so many illegal immigrants here that no one catches them,” he says.
In 2021, the migrant camps in Tijuana are experiencing a revival. Many of them wore T-shirts with the inscription: “We’re going to Grandpa Joe’s!” “I hope that now I can finally get to the United States. After all, Biden so harshly criticized Trump for his misanthropic policy towards migrants! God grant that these are not empty words! ” – says 40-year-old Isabella, who came with two children from Honduras. But in reality, Isabella’s hopes are illusory.
So far, Biden’s reforms in the field of migration policy are not too significant. He stopped building a wall on the border with Mexico and also stopped expelling children who arrived in the United States unaccompanied. However, to call these measures revolutionary would be a strong exaggeration.
It is also worth noting that under President Barack Obama, in whose administration Biden served and whose course he largely continues, the migration policy did not radically different from that pursued by Donald Trump. Yes, the “furious Donald” did not skimp on harsh rhetoric, but it did not go beyond words. The claims about the current migration crisis are also quite controversial. Many are inclined to believe that this is nothing more than speculation. This opinion is shared, for example, by Tom K., a professor at the University of California, San Diego, and director of the American Center for Migration Policy. Wong.
“To claim that Biden’s migration policy caused the migration crisis is fundamentally wrong,” Tom K. Wong, a professor at the University of California, San Diego, said.
“The current increase in the number of illegal immigrants trying to enter the United States illegally is explained, first, by the change of the season (by spring, the activity of border violators always increases). Secondly, due to the severe border closures during the pandemic, a significant number of migrants have accumulated, who postponed their plans until more favorable times, and now they have come,” he said.
The fact that illegal immigrants constantly storm the American border is regarded very differently in the United States. Many liberals really believe that the country should accept all comers. Their main argument is that the United States has always been a country of migrants, so why do their descendants prevent the acquisition of a new homeland for the same poor people as their ancestors?
“We should be generous and kind. How can we not let these poor people in if they feel bad?! And the money will be found, you just need to stop bombing Iraq!” Ben, a photographer from San Francisco and a staunch opponent of Trump, told me with pathos.
Opponents of this approach object that it is easy for various criminal elements to hide in the flow of illegal immigrants, and letting people who are used to earning money through criminal means into the country is a threat to general security. But this argument is rather shaky. Yes, there are criminals among the illegal immigrants, mostly drug dealers, but the vast majority of migrants are honest, uncomplaining peasants and laborers. Statistics say that in the Latin American neighborhoods of the United States, the crime rate is minimal, in contrast to the same African-American ones.
But the opponents of easing the migration policy have another argument, before which even the most ideological liberals give up. This is the problem of cultural “expansion from the South.”