Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Punishing Latin America to Make it Better

Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) published an op-ed about forcing Mexico to pay for increased border security, including more wall. It is mostly boilerplate xenophobia, but it's worth noting the sense of how Latin America itself is deficient.

That is why I’m proposing we put Mexico on a “payment plan” and fulfill President-Elect Trump’s demand that our allies help resolve this mess. 
There are many reasonable ways to do this.  For starters, we can put in place new immigration fees from Mexico, institute a security toll at border crossings, “seize and freeze” drug cartel assets, and more. 
But it shouldn’t be limited to Mexico.  Other countries in Latin America have contributed to the crisis—and failed to rein in the chaos—so they should also help pay for these fixes, too.
Sadly, there is no learning from history and no recognition of the U.S. role in the origins of "chaos." Worse, the attitude is that if countries are punished financially, they will become more effective and prosperous. I am not at all sure how that logic works.

As Mike Allison recently noted, Donald Trump has not mentioned Central America. If he follows the punitive approach, then we could see even worse economic (and therefore also immigration) problems in the future.


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