The appetite in Latin America and the Caribbean for the entry of migrants into the United States is insatiable. National leaders south of the border are now trumpeting the “right to migrate,” insisting that “destination countries” — that is, the U.S.— adopt even more extreme open-border policies to accommodate the region’s ceaseless pressure for economic migration. Since Latin America and the Caribbean have more than 80 million people in extreme poverty, even Biden officials must feel daunted.
The Biden administration has already allowed the admission of some 2–3 million border jumpers, mostly from these two vast zones. In addition, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has invented “legal” programs to permit the yearly arrival of at least another 360,000 from four countries in the region. Every year, “normal” chain migration and the diversity visa program bring in another 175,000 immigrants from the same region. On top of that, hundreds of thousands overstay their temporary visas each year, working on the black market with no fear of deportation.
Yet these numbers and extravagant open-border policies are evidently not enough. Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) recently summoned national leaders from across Latin America and the Caribbean to a diplomatic gathering designed to coerce even more admissions out of the U.S.
Meeting in a “migration summit” in Palenque, Mexico, AMLO orchestrated the political chiefs from Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Ecuador, Panama, and Venezuela in delivering a sweeping call for more migration. They issued the “Palenque Declaration,” which proclaims that migrating across national borders is a basic human right. They called on “destination countries” to accommodate “irregular” migrants, offering them visas and work opportunities.