The media and commentators have paid a lot of attention to net zero migration from Mexico. From the Associated Press, here is a troubling downside:
While the issue ofarriving in the U.S. isn't new, the scale of the recent increase is. From October 2011 through March, 5,252 kids landed in U.S. custody without a parent or guardian — a 93 percent increase from the same period the previous year, according to data released by the . In March alone, 1,390 kids arrived.
"The whole community right now is in triage mode," said Wendy Young, executive director of Kids in Need of Defense, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that matches pro bono attorneys with unaccompanied minors navigating the immigration system. "It's important that the resources and the capacity meet the need, and we're not quite there yet."
I spend a lot of time in my Politics of Latino Immigration class discussing incentives and unintended consequences of immigration policy. Both are in evidence here.
This week, the first ladies of Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala spoke at a three-day conference on unaccompanied minors in Washington, D.C. Mexico's first lady, Margarita Zavala, and Honduran counterpart Rosa Elena Bonilla de Lobo noted that tougher U.S. border security made it more difficult for parents working in the U.S. to return for their children, a suggestion as to why parents increasingly would put their children in a smuggler's care.
The "triage" part is indicative of the fact that no one in the Obama administration thought about how greater enforcement might change migrant behavior. No sane person should support an immigration system that produces this outcome. The article mentions a five year old girl. Five! So say all you want about Mexican economic growth, but don't pretend it ends misery.
And as I keep repeating, remember that net zero does not mean zero migration.
h/t my dad