The Migration crisis hits America

By Sumantra Maitra
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, November 28, 2018
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United States Military personel and Border Patrol agents secure the United States-Mexico border on November 25, 2018 at the San Ysidro border crossing point south of San Diego, California. [Photo/VCG]

Migrants have stormed the U.S. border from the Mexican side resulting in the American border patrol firing tear gas shells over the border in response. This comes after Mexico's incoming left-wing administration has apparently caved in and agreed to a deal with the United States, known as "Remain in Mexico" which will entail that migrants from central American countries will be in Mexico until their asylum status is judged in the United States. 

There are conflicting reports on this deal, but American newspapers reported that the Trump administration has agreed to this deal, and the Mexican government has acquiesced to Trump's demands. Previously the Trump administration threatened to close the American southern border, and sent over nine thousand troops to enforce a strong border patrol which is extremely porous and is commonly used for drug smuggling and human trafficking. 

In almost what could be a repeat of the Euro migration crisis, the American heartland is now facing the same issue, that changed the European political dynamic since 2015. At the peak of the Syrian civil war, Germany's Angela Merkel, in a feat of romanticism, said that Europe will accept all migrants landing on European soil. The decision led to millions of people from places as far as Sub-Saharan Africa, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh to flock to Europe. 

At its peak, over a million people migrated to Europe, and many thousands perished while trying to cross the Mediterranean. Since there were no way of measuring who are genuine war refugees and who are economic migrants and job hunters, it led to a massive backlash across the European continent. Italy and Greece were worst hit, with left and center left governments toppled in all central and east European countries, and the rise of the far right in Italy, Sweden, France and Germany. 

Migrants, part of a caravan of thousands from Central America trying to reach the United States, run from tear gas released by U.S border patrol, near the border fence between Mexico and the United States in Tijuana, Mexico, November 25, 2018. [Photo/VCG]

Now, the same scenario is hitting the U.S. Migrants from central American countries like Honduras and Nicaragua and El Salvador, aided by activists, are forming caravans and walking all across the continent to reach U.S. borders, knowing that once they cross over, the U.S. has to accept them. 

Despite not having stable institutions, none of these countries are war torn. The difference is that previously these migrants used to individually pay smugglers thousands of dollars per head. Now, they are aided by activists and NGOs, who are providing them with food and blankets on the way, just like in Europe. Previously the migrants used to go to Costa Rica and Colombia, now they only move north. 

This is unsustainable to say the least, and will boost the right wing in U.S., just as it did in Europe. Trump won because of his opposition to mass migration, which he argues is a plot by NGOs and activists against the very basic concept of sovereignty itself. According to Trump, mass migration is a non-violent invasion, and can be used by any country against their opponents, which would mean sending thousands of unarmed military age men across the border, thereby destroying the concept of borders and nations-states. 

He is not the only one, lately Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, also noted that Europe (and America) needs to stop taking in more migrants, the same two individuals who were responsible for the collapse of authority in the entire north African coastline, after the Libyan intervention which led to the migration crisis to start with. But it's too late, the tactic of unarmed masses mobbing and storming borders is here, and is here to stay. It happened in Europe, and it's happening in the U.S. now, and it might spread across the world soon.

Sumantra Maitra is a columnist with For more information please visit:

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