Op-ed exposes meaningless 'PR stunt' of VP Harris efforts to address 'root causes' of Central American migration

 May 6, 2023

In early 2021, President Joe Biden tasked Vice President Kamala Harris with addressing the "root causes" of illegal migration to the United States from predominately Central American nations but also elsewhere.

Now more than two years later, that whole "PR stunt" has been exposed as a largely empty exercise in futility that has shown no meaningful progress in addressing the actual and worsening migration crisis at the southern border, Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies wrote in an op-ed for the New York Post.

Indeed, the situation at the border has arguably become even worse than it was when Biden first appointed Harris as the "Root Causes Czarina."

Harris announces supposed progress in addressing "root causes" of migration

In July 2021, VP Harris and the White House National Security Council released a 20-page document outlining the administration's "Strategy for Addressing the Root Causes of Migration in Central America."

By and large, the "strategy" entailed little more than flooding the so-called Northern Triangle in Central America -- El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras -- will billions of dollars in public and private funds while seeking to impose American-style cultural and democratic values on those nations.

Following that, a White House "fact sheet" was issued in February of this year to announce an additional $950 million in "private sector commitments" for the region as part of Harris' "Call to Action" and "Partnership for Central America" that brought the grand total of such "commitments" to more than $4.2 billion.

Foreign aid will not fix any problems quickly, if at all

The problem with that, though, in the view of Krikorian, is that those so-called "commitments" are little more than "all press release and no substance" unless and until the promised funds actually flow to the intended recipients for the intended purpose of improving the economies of the Northern Triangle nations.

Even then, however, the issue is far from solved, given the rather dismal track record over the decades of industrialized nations dumping trillions of dollars in foreign aid into developing nations -- much of which gets skimmed off by corrupt government officials and international organizations, leaving only a portion to actually benefit the intended recipients and purposes.

Furthermore, while the economic development of a nation can eventually reduce the desire of its citizens to migrate elsewhere in the long run, that is a lengthy process that can take decades and actually spark increased migration in the short run due to the disruption of the economic systems that are already in place.

Indeed, Krikorian pointed to Mexico as a prime example, in that it is far more economically developed than its Central American neighbors to the south but still sends hundreds of thousands of its own citizens northward to the U.S. on an annual basis.

Narrow focus misses where the majority of migrants are coming from

Another rather significant problem that may have been overlooked or ignored in Czarina Harris' seemingly myopic focus on the "root causes" of migration from the Northern Triangle nations is that, while sizeable, those nations only make up a portion of the total number of migrants from all around the world who are seeking illegal entry into the U.S.

Krikorian noted that of the nearly 2.4 million border apprehensions in Fiscal Year 2022, only around half a million were from the three targeted Central American nations, and over the past two years there has been rapid growth in the numbers of migrants coming from places in South America, Africa, and Asia, particularly China, which begs the question, "Are we supposed to fix the root causes of migration everywhere in the world?"

In summation at the beginning of his op-ed, Krikorian wrote, "It should be clear by now that the focus on root causes was just a PR stunt, to make it appear as though the administration were responding constructively to the border crisis without actually, you know, enforcing the law."

He ultimately concluded, "Wouldn’t it make more sense to rescind Biden’s invitation to the hundreds of millions of people who want to move here and just enforce our immigration laws?"

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