Saturday, February 01, 2020

Trump Administration and Latin America Emigration

A news story about how Nicaraguans, Venezuelans, and Cubans all face major obstacles in trying to seek asylum in the United States, even though they are fleeing the "troika of tyranny." The Trump administration does not want them, of course.

It occurred to me how much historical precedent there is for this. Cuba is really an exception, where for years Cubans had a golden ticket (which itself created problems). The norm is that the United States invades and/or strangles the economies of other countries, thus sparking emigration. The essential point is that the U.S. government wants those people to go anywhere except here.

For some fun reading, take a look at the Congressional Research Service's "Instances of Use of United States Armed Forces Abroad, 1798-2020." It's a long document with small font, which you need to require the constant flow of U.S. troops abroad. We do love sending troops. It doesn't even include covert action or economic sanctions. Here is a Wikipedia page for U.S. sanctions, which is good enough for our purposes, and there are countless covert actions.

Anyway, take a look at the countries there. The U.S. is actively hostile to citizens fleeing the Muslim countries we have bombed, of course, but let's just look at Latin America. Central America is high on the list, as is Haiti. And now Cuba joins Nicaragua and Venezuela as countries hit hard by sanctions but not allowed asylum.

Further, it occurred to me that I've been thinking about Temporary Protected Status for Venezuelans in normal political incentive terms. You want those Florida votes so you work something out. That's just not as useful as it used to be. Marco Rubio is a strong proponent of TPS. Trump said no. Then Marco Rubio announced that even if a president committed an impeachable offense, he should not be removed from office. Rubio will do whatever Trump wants even if his policy preferences are ignored, and Trump assumes (correctly or not, I have no idea) that hardline Cuban-American and Venezuelan-American voters will do the same. This has worked well for Trump thus far.


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