By Allan Wall, August 11, 2020
There’s a plethora of dramatic events going on in the United States, including the coronavirus, riots sparked by the so-called Black Lives Matter movement, and the spreading tentacles of the anti-freedom Cancel Culture.
These are all important matters, but at the same time we shouldn’t forget about the U.S.- Mexican border (pictured, left). The international nature of the COVID-19 virus has actually provided a welcome opportunity to seal the border.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. government made agreements with Canada on the north and Mexico on the south to close the borders to non-essential traffic. These agreements were initiated in March and have been renewed monthly afterward.
Last month, I experienced this firsthand.
Some members of my family and I visited Mexico – just barely.
We crossed over into a Mexican border city, but were allowed to proceed no further.
For one thing, our car had a U.S. license plate – one reason we couldn’t proceed.
And, you need a Mexican voter ID to get in further into the country. My wife, a Mexican citizen, has one, but I don’t.
(The Mexican voter ID has become the de facto secure Mexican identification document, not just for voting.)
We had some business to take care of in the Mexican city, and were able to take care of it and then get back into the United States.
It showed how tightly controlled the border is on the Mexican side.
After all, both Mexico and the U.S. would be wise not to allow COVID-19 carriers into their respective countries.
Taking care of your own coronavirus sufferers is one thing, but why import more cases?
The COVID-19 virus got started in the United States before it did in Latin America.
That’s why during an earlier period, there were more COVID-19 cases in the U.S. than in all Latin American countries put together.
Now, however, Latin America and the Caribbean have had more COVID-19 cases and deaths than the United States. And, the stats from the region may be under-counted!
As of August 11th, the United States is still #1 in COVID-19 cases and deaths (5,251,446 cases, 166,192 deaths).
Brazil is in the #2 position with 3,057,470 cases and 101,857 deaths.
Mexico is now #3 in COVID-19 deaths (53,708) but #6 in cases.
Three other Latin American countries with high coronavirus case counts are Peru, Colombia, and Chile.
So we need to keep the borders tight. Again, why import more cases of COVID-19?
On August 6th, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (USCBP) released some statistics.
According to the USCBP report of total apprehensions and inadmissibles, April had the lowest amount of the year. But since April the quantity has been inching up, reaching 40,746 in July, still much lower than the quantity in 2019.
As I reported in June, the demographics of the crossers have been changing with unaccompanied adult Mexican males as the principal group being apprehended.
That’s still true and has increased, and in July there were 33,938 adult males traveling individually who were apprehended or inadmissible.
Of that group, the vast majority were Mexicans. Mark Morgan, Acting CBP head, tweeted on August 6th that “Last month, 78% of our total enforcement encounters were migrants from Mexico. This new surge of single adult Mexican males are not simply turning themselves over to USBP like we saw the families doing — they’re running and fighting. Doing everything to avoid apprehension.”
The fact that they are “running and fighting” might indicate that they don’t think they are going to be released soon after capture.
The fact that they are mostly Mexicans, and not Central Americans, is because of Trump’s tariff threat in 2019. That bold move pressured the Mexican government to drastically reduce the quantity of illegal Central Americans crossing through Mexico to get to the United States.
Trump was thinking outside the box, using his foreign policy authority to achieve an immigration objective. Not that he’s gotten much credit for it, alas.
What should we do now? Keep a close watch on the U.S. – Mexican border and tighten it more.
That’s good for the country!
Allan Wall’s writings can be found here.