Migrant crises often are connected to political or social crises. COVID-19 is no exception, and due to the spread of the virus, the Washington Examiner reports that millions of Central Americans are migrating toward the US Border it what may become an ‘unprecedented’ migrant crisis.
“If there is economic collapse in a given country, it is only natural that there will be migration flows to places where the economy is more robust,” U.S. Agency for International Development acting Administrator John Barsa told the Washington Examiner. “Are we concerned about the economic impacts that this might have, which could lead to migration? Absolutely.”
President Trump won the White House in part due to a pledge to stop illegal immigration, an issue that returned to the center of domestic politics following a 2014 border crisis that many Republican lawmakers and voters blamed on former President Barack Obama. That crisis featured tens of thousands of unaccompanied Central American children fleeing gang violence at home, but the cascade of social ills occasioned by the pandemic in multiple countries could dwarf that migration surge.
“You’re going to have millions and millions of Latin Americans out of jobs, with governments too broke to provide even the meager social safety nets they have,” a second senior U.S. official told the Washington Examiner. “How do you measure the number of refugees that come out of that level of devastation? You can’t put a number on it, but it’s reasonable to say that it would be completely unprecedented.”
Barsa said that his team already is thinking ahead about how to mitigate the human suffering and political degradation that otherwise might drive people from their homes.
“I’m looking to ensure that we don’t just focus on the problem right in front of our noses, which is the global health aspect, because this is absolutely going to challenge us on the economic development aspect,” he said. “The activities we’re doing already address economic development issues. So what we’re seeing with the COVID pandemic, as countries have greater economic challenges, we may have to double down and help them more on an economic development front.”
If the U.S. escapes the pandemic without a major migrant crisis, it may be due to the damage done to the U.S. economy. “If you’ve got 20% or 30% unemployment in the United States, basically Great Depression levels or worse,” that might blunt some of the interest in traveling from Latin America, the second senior official said. “There would be pressure for immigration, but depending on how bad things are perceived to be in the United States, it would be either more or less pressure than you would think.” (source)
A major migrant crisis would be a perfect political opportunity.
It could be used to rally support for American nationalism in the form of “illegals coming to steal jobs from poor Americans out of work”.
It could be used to rally support against “racists who hate Hispanics”.
It could be used to justify militarization at the border, and possibly give Trump the opportunity to, even if only temporarily, “follow through” on his “promise” to “secure the border”.
It could be used as a weapons against the Democrats by the Republicans.
It could be used to inspire support of xenophobia or eugenics.
The possibilities are endless today.
Migrants are a political football used by both parties, who care neither for their good will nor what may happen to them.
For the sake of all that is good, such is a reason why now more than ever before, it is imperative to support the migrants as they are being used in a game of geopolitical chess and in the future, just as the threat is with migrants in Europe, they could eventually be targeted for contemporary forms of eugenics.