AMU Homeland Security Intelligence Legislation

The Global Migration Crisis

By Brett Daniel Shehadey
Special Correspondent for In Homeland Security

The 21st century will be a trying time for geopolitical boundaries and ‘ethno-nationalist’ sentiment clashes. As a result of borders around the world quickly being redrawn and vast groups of peoples migrating out of violent crashes, migration becomes a controversial centerfold issue in foreign affairs. The clash of civilizations is further squeezed together abruptly by temporal ages of conflicts from terrorism to drugs to rampant corruption and disparity.

The British and French governments have both warned of the Global Migration Crisis. Their point is that a “Global Migration Crisis” requires a “global” response. Right now, they are seeking greater participation from member states in the region to combat illegal immigration into Europe. Asylum seeker applicants alone numbered over 600,000 in 2014. Many of these are denied because they are fraudulent or not applicable for asylum. Such people are unauthorized if they have ventured across foreign soil illegally and then apply. In some areas, they are seeing illegal migration figures rise 200 percent.

Channel Tunnel Global Migration Crisis
The Channel Tunnel is the target for hundreds of would-be asylum seekers

In Calais, France, a self-made camp created by illegal migrants after the closer Sangatte refugee camps to riots in 2001-20002 now has an estimated over 3,000 migrants. Many with Britain as their final destination, attempt to stowaway or disrupt the Channel Tunnel trains. British Prime Minister David Cameron once referred to the migrants at Calais as a “swarm.”

British Home Secretary Theresa May and French Minister of Interior Bernard Cazeneuve are seeking ways to discourage migrants from believing that Britain’s streets are “paved with gold.” The U.S. Customs and Borders have done something similar with an awareness program called “Know the Facts.” It is broadcasted on radios of select countries, along with a website and announcements with the intention of informing potential migrants from crossing the border illegally and believing they will not be detained and deported; and also clarifying President Barack Obama’s de facto amnesty as strictly for internal illegal immigrants already in the U.S. – and not future illegal migrants attempting to enter.

Disincentives, lowering asylum cash allowances and disrupting smugglers have become a priority for Britain and France. Europe faces incoming waves of migrants on two major fronts: from African (mainly North African) and Asia (the Middle East). Britain and France are leading a charge to wake Italy, Greece, and other European states up to this imperative and to stop the flood of immigrants into Europe. Germany’s elected government is taking a more ‘open arms’ approach in opposition to rivals.

Migration to Europe: Out of Control

Aside from out-of-control illegal African migration to Europe, in Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel is battling far-right activists challenging lose asylum rules to inciting rallies and crimes against an incoming flow of immigrants from the Middle East. They are expecting fewer than one million refugees from Syria, Iraq and other Middle East states this year. This does not include the often unwelcome Turkish migrant workers to Germany or illegal African newcomers. Merkel visited a political asylum facility in Heidenau, Germany amidst protests, riots and attacks on immigrants there.

In Hungary, after the highest one day wave of illegal migrants from Serbia crossed the border, the government is sending in the army, mounted police, helicopters and dogs to hunt the illegals down. This is in addition to the border guards and the three layers of 174 km razor-wire fence shared on the Hungary-Serbia border. They camp out along the fence, dig holes and illegally sneak in. These migrants are escaping war and poverty. Their destination is actually not Hungary itself but wealthier European states with liberal political asylum laws. They are emigrating out of the Middle East and going through Turkey, Greece and the Balkans.

It is a perilous journey with no guarantees. But anything is worth the risk than the war-torn place they are leaving or the stagnant refugee camps they may have been held in for several years. They are frustrated with the registration process (e.g. Roszke, Hungary) and are causing unrest. The same is happening along the route from the Middle East which is rapidly causing reactions in Europe.

Even Sweden is having to boost up security measures in response for large inflows of refugees and a murder from two residents at an asylum center there. Two homeless residents were shot as they slept in a car near Boden earlier in the month.

Nils Muiznieks, the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights, tweeted in regards to Hungary’s decision to beef-up security using the army that: “…militarization of borders is [the] wrong answer to migration. It is urgent to adopt a European response, which ensures access to asylum and humane reception conditions.”

This is the central debate in the 21st century. Reinforcing the borders with heavier military presence in response to increased illegal migration or easing restrictions and softening rules of illegal entry. What is often ignored, however, is the presence of a weaker, poorer and even troubled regimes on the borders of more successful and resourceful states.

What does this all mean? The free flow of people is a universal civil right in international law; however, only when permissible after the filters of protectionist and sometimes racist national laws.

Middle East and African migration to Europe mostly face region-spreading civil wars, jihadists, genocide, hunger, poverty and political oppression. Mexican and Latin American Migration to the U.S. involve: political oppression, imbedded corruption, drug wars and a highly competitive low-skilled labor market; moreover, they are primarily looking for safety and opportunity.

Immigration: Top Issue for Election 2016

In the U.S., the Republican Party is placing immigration as a top issue. This is a radical shift from President Barack Obama’s protecting millions of illegal immigrants residing in the U.S. from deportation by non-enforcement. Political positions from the right are now aggressively targeting illegal immigrants already inside and future illegal entry into the U.S. is increasing as a political reactionary outlet.

From a sociological perspective, one must consider the real basic causes. First consider the flows of Mexican migrants to be based primarily on population density and condition. Think higher concentration always moves to a lower concentration from physics class.

Mexico is a population dense nation in With a total population of 224 million people but only 762,000 square miles in territory versus the U.S. with 355 million people and 3.8 million square miles. In other words, Mexico has two thirds of the U.S. population and little over one fifth of the land. That means less natural resources, more competition and so forth. All of which lead to migration.

The next feature in natural human migration patterns is based on out-country condition. Mexico is undergoing a massive plight of instability, violence, corruption and dearth of safety and opportunity. Although Mexico’s unemployment rate is low (i.e. officially 4.5 percent) many argue that is based on migration and migrant workers programs. But the conditions are much worse than finding a job: finding a job, being safe and making money are two different things.

The Mexico Factor

During the Mexican Drug Wars, since 2006 alone, over 120,000 people have been killed, more than 30,000 missing and hundreds of thousands of people displaced. Mexican drug cartels also control around 90 percent of cocaine shipping into the U.S., not including other types of drugs. Even when one’s life is not in immediate danger, it is always in constant fear.

The average Mexican income is only around $13,000 while in the U.S. the average American income is around $50,000. This includes vast disparities in income but acts a gauge of basic comparison and incentive.

The next most important category is the destination country itself. America is the most prosperous nation on earth and in human history. And it is close by. It is orders of magnitude safer and then there is the reality of opportunity and the American Dream. Compared to Mexico or any country in the Western Hemisphere, America is a first choice destination state. Opportunities equal more money. More money equals a chance at a better and more comfortable life.

Mexican Drug War and Global Migration Crisis
2011: Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Federal police officers check a car trunk for drugs.

Why not go through the formal process? One reason is limit caps. The immigration demand is estimated to be ten times that of the formal allowance. The number of low-skilled workers is capped at 66,000 for non-agrarian temporary guest workers obtaining an H-2B. There is no cap for H-2A temporary agrarian visas. Arguably, most want to live here and not just have to work and leave; and many of those that enter as guests decide to stay past the legally allotted times. An argument could be made that there is still a demand for low-skilled jobs needed by foreign workers and that if such visas were increased to match the level of supply coming in illegally, there would be few issues; especially, since they would be vetted for criminal backgrounds.

The last factor on the U.S. side of the border since 1942 has been the policy and habit of hosting needed large-scale programs and granting incentives to Mexican immigrants. The Bracero program during World War II to fill the worker shortage but lasting until 1964. After Bracero, there were large liberties taken in the areas of attracting migrant workers to fill the needs of American farmlands and less so industry in order to increase their productivity and maintain low wages. In other words, when Americans at the time were unavailable or were moving up in a booming economy through the 1950s and migrating internally, foreign workers were filling the void and taking increasingly lesser interesting and lower-skilled jobs.

American political parties each appear to be polarized into a camp of hard enforcement measures on criminal immigration penalties or greater acting humane enforcement and amnesty. Mexico plays down its internal threats for political stability and shuns State Department officials and other agencies for revealing damaging figures. Tourism is a big industry, for example, in Mexico. It must appear as if everything is all right. Former President Vicente Fox called the unauthorized migrants to the U.S. “heroes,” because they bring needed monies back to Mexico by sending it to extended families and friends. It is a common sentiment of the Mexican people and their leaders.

On the other side of the border, the Mexican Drug War is a top priority and American politicians are willing to compromise with Mexico that might jeopardize cooperation against cartels and the issue of Mexican stability. It is easier to keep Mexico afloat than to deal with the heart of the on-going U.S. migration crisis. But it may be that times are changing fast for America. Maybe American citizens need to fall back on low-skilled jobs that they out of necessity could or should be doing. Maybe America is not as industrious as it used to be and the low-skilled workers from Mexico are no longer needed.

In any case, Americans should become more educated on the topic and not just ask “how” but “why” Mexican migration is so strong. The reality of human migrant flows acting as a law of human social nature comes face to face with nationalism and also the protections of cultural identity and purity as well.

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