Sunday, October 28, 2018

Is U.S. Accession to the Mexico-UNHCR 'Caravan' Plan a Long-Term Mistake?

I like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. He seems pretty much like a what-you-see-is-what-you-get kind of guy, which in itself is refreshing amid the halls of power in Washington. But his recent statement in Mexico City in a press conference after a meeting with Mexican officials about illegal immigration was a statement of the obvious: "We are quickly reaching a point which appears to be a moment of crisis," he said.
In fact, I should think that the moment of crisis arrived quite some time ago. Even in a Trump administration whose approach to immigration matters is in such stark contrast to that of the Obama White House, senior officials have either been slow to acknowledge it, or perhaps simply loath to accept it. The number of migrant family groups — almost exclusively consisting of Central Americans tramping through Mexico to enter illegally — is at epic levels, and has been extraordinarily high since at least 2014. The high-water mark simply keeps getting higher.
Immigration matters have become such a flashpoint within the White House that it was recently reported that National Security Advisor John Bolton got into a shouting match with Chief of Staff (and former Homeland Security Secretary) John Kelly over the performance of that department under the auspices of his protégé and successor to the position, Kirstjen Nielsen.
This should not be a surprise. Nielsen, like her boss, is known to be tepid about vigorous enforcement efforts, and so in many ways is a duck out of water among many within the administration where immigration policy is concerned. Within the department, she has acted as a breakwater in ensuring a go-slow approach to many of the enforcement initiatives proposed by the White House or its more enforcement-minded advocates, which one imagines is exactly why Kelly put her there. In short, she may not be the best fit for the job, and one suspects that it is only Kelly's influence that has protected Nielsen from the president's well-known mercurial temper.
The problem is that, absent more vigorous measures the likes of which Nielsen may be reluctant to direct, our border will remain a sponge soaking up large numbers of illegal crossers who are constantly and consistently dripping onto the U.S. side of the frontier and dispersing for lack of detention space, leading to a "catch-and-release" process that only encourages more to come.
Read the rest of the story HERE.

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