‘Root causes’ aren’t behind migrant surge — it’s open borders

By Todd Bensman on October 14, 2022

As the nation’s “Border Czar,” Vice President Kamala Harris is 20 months into carrying out the White House’s signature “root causes” immigration plan to bring order and security to America’s southern border. The idea behind it was that if America fixes the poverty, physical insecurity, and bad governance that drive emigration from three big sending nations — Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador — its citizens will rather stay home.

Voila! American border squared away.

So how’s that root causes nation-building project working out so far?

Short answer: About as well as the idea worked for European liberals who first concocted the root-causes doctrine in the early 1980s, resurrected it after the catastrophic mass migration of 2014-2015, and have seen it fail miserably ever since. Border Patrol apprehension numbers, widely regarded as the chief indicator of total crossings, is the ultimate progress report.

In 2020 when Donald Trump was in office, Border Patrol caught 106,762 Hondurans, Guatemalans and Salvadorans. By the end of fiscal 2021, they’d caught 701,049. Border Patrol caught another 505,448 this fiscal year with another month left to count.

Anyone endowed with basic critical thinking and research skills could have predicted this American policy failure, but it was never even lightly challenged. When the Joe Biden campaign first appropriated Europe’s failed liberal social engineering experiment as its chief immigration policy, star-struck American media never bothered to dig into its long, sorry history or demand details for how much it would cost. No one asked when, exactly, the White House would consider Central America “fixed” enough to declare U.S. border security success.

And most importantly, “root causes” ignores a simple equation: People decide to jump the southern border when federal government policies let them illegally cross and stay for long enough to earn back many times the smuggling fee money they borrowed. When they feel the odds of that happening are high, they come. They stay home when they see they’ll be turned away at the American border or be quickly deported to square one, with nothing to show for the smuggling money fortunes they gambled.

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[Read the whole thing at the New York Post.]