Saturday, November 27, 2021

Major Study Undercuts Biden Explanation for Surge in Illegal Immigration: Migrants Come for Jobs, Not Fleeing Violence or Effects of Climate Change

AP Photo/Gregory Bull
Migrants from Central America are rushing to the U.S. illegally not because of violence or natural disasters in their home countries but because of jobs, a major new study found, challenging claims that they are asylum-seekers fleeing persecution.
The study also calculated that migrants from the emigration hubs of El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala pay smugglers $1.7 billion a year to be shepherded into the U.S. illegally.
And a staggering 43% of Central Americans have a desire to leave their home countries, up from just 8% a couple of years ago. But only about 3% were making concrete plans.
Still, nearly 30% of households in the three key countries reported getting money sent back home from a household member working in another country, according to the report, a joint effort by the Migration Policy Institute, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the World Food Programme.
The analysts conducted a 5,000 in-person survey in the spring and ran an online survey with more than 6,000 responses, building a broad picture of the factors pushing people to leave. They concluded that while violence and insecurity are “longstanding triggers” for migration, most people cited economic reasons for wanting to leave.
“Low wages, unemployment and insufficient income to cover basic necessities directly affected people’s livelihoods and contributed significantly to the desire to emigrate,” the analysts said.
The report challenges the vision of the Biden administration, which argues violence and insecurity are pushing folks to leave their homes and head north and characterizes many of the migrants as asylum-seekers.
Vice President Kamala Harris, tapped by President Biden to get to the bottom of the “root causes” of migration, released a report in July blaming a variety of things such as the coronavirus pandemic and climate change for this year’s migrant surge, on top of the usual factors of violence, food insecurity and poverty.
Ms. Harris’ strategy called for more international investment to try to boost local economies, as well as efforts to combat corruption, promote human rights and try to reduce violence.
“The COVID-19 pandemic and extreme weather conditions have indeed exacerbated the root causes of migration — which include corruption, violence, trafficking and poverty,” Ms. Harris wrote in her report.
Her office didn’t respond to a request for comment on the report.
As written, U.S. law requires asylum-seekers to be fleeing government persecution. General levels of violence or rough economic conditions are not supposed to be sufficient.
Read the rest from Stephen Dinan HERE

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