In midst of a surge of families crossing the border, apprehension numbers were up 38 percent from July to August 2018. In some cases, the trip from an immigrants country of origin to the United States can take up to two weeks, with the final stretch being ferried across the Rio Grande river in a life raft. Most new arrivals are women and children led by smugglers that mock border patrol agents by asking them to wish well their family members in America. Along the Rio Grande Valley 41 percent of all illegal immigration apprehensions take place.
According to border patrol agents there has been an uptick in illegal border crossings since the end of President Trump’s ‘Zero Tolerance’ policy. In May 2018, upwards of 650 children along with their adult companions were detained and separated. Unreported was the fact that adults were separated for two reasons; adults are referred for prosecution with the children in custody until a suitable sponsor is found, and so DNA testing could be done in order to ensure the adults who accompanied the children were in fact parents of the children. In fact, Attorney General Jeff Sessions directed the implementation of the Zero Tolerance policy to prosecute all illegal entries from the DHS, in order to protect against a wave of illegal entries at the southwest border. When an adult is designated for prosecution, Health and Human Services steps in to locate a sponsor for the child.
158,000 Apprehensions This Year
Chief Patrol Agent Manuel Padilla Jr. says South Texas is faced with over 158,000 apprehensions this year. That is roughly the population of Palmdale, California in 2017, according to the United States Census Bureau. Padilla says those apprehended fall into two groups, consisting of women and children who want to be caught, and adults seeking employment along with smugglers pushing drugs and people who attempt to avoid capture. It is no easy task locating and apprehending border crossers. Many times agents have to result to using finely tuned trekking skills to locate clues such as fresh footprints and broken branches. Aerial surveillance is provided by helicopters that are in constant communication with ground agents. Even still, it is very difficult for agents on the ground and above to spot and apprehend smugglers and their cargo. Stronger infrastructure, more personnel, and better technology are provisions Padilla says will solve the problem along the Rio Grande Valley. Mexico is the crossing point, but not necessarily the country of origin for many illegals. Countries of origin include Nicaragua El Salvador, Honduras, Chile, Peru, Colombia, Brazil, and Argentina to name a few.
Reasons and Who is Fleeing
Reasons for fleeing these countries usually comes down to gang violence, poverty, and corporate land displacement. No longer do males in their 20’s and 30’s make up the majority of illegals coming from Central and South America. Today the core of illegal border crossers are made up families, newborns, children, and pregnant women. According to a Washington Examiner article that was released mere hours before this article was published, “Americans are paying more to cover the costs of illegal immigrants having children in the United States than Congress plans to give President Trump in border wall funding this year. A new report by the Census Bureau reveals that in 2014 at a cost of 2.4 billion, illegal immigrant women had 297,000 children in the United States. A Center for Immigration Studies report shows Medicaid billing for childbirth and early childcare costed American taxpayers $5.3 billion for legal and illegal immigrants, which is 1/5 the cost of building President Trumps border wall. Make no mistake about it, U.S. policies in the 1990’s have aided in the problems these countries face, which has led to a new influx of illegal immigrants in the U.S. today. Policies such as 1996’s Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigration Responsibility Act led to tens of thousands of convicted criminals being deported to Central America in the early 2000’s. These deportations led to the expansion of gangs such as MS13 and Barrio 18. In many cases young people have been left without families due to civil war in the aforementioned regions.
Corporate Land Displacement
What I refer to as ‘Corporate Land Displacement” is another issue that causes illegal immigrants to endanger their lives to reach American soil. Latin America is rich with fertile, and in many cases virgin ground that is plentiful with copper, zinc, and silver. For example, in 2015 and 2016 in Peru, the opening of the Chinese owned Las Bambas mine displaced thousands of people. Colombia, Bolivia, and Ecuador also deal with mining companies displacing its people. Corporate mining also leads to environmental conflicts which leads to the deaths of citizens who protest mining companies. According to an October 2016 article provided by Telesur, titled, ‘Canadian Mining Companies in Latin America Have Blood on Hands’, “corporate social responsibility governing Canada’s mining industry brings human rights abuses and death to Latin America communities.” Toronto-based Justice and Corporate Accountability Project at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School, over a dozen countries have documented human rights violations and environmental destruction at mines owned by 28 Canadian mining companies. The report also points out a lack of accountability on behalf of the mining companies and the Canadian government.
Consumer Demand Creates Immigrants
This article focuses on immigration from Latin America. Global consumer demand for electronic devices of all types has skyrocketed in recent years. these demands lead to social conflicts and human rights violations in places like Asia, Africa, and Latin America which leads to legal and illegal immigration. According to an article published by the United States Geological Survey (USGS), titled, ‘A World of Minerals in Your Mobile Device’, mobile phones and other high-technology communications devices could not exist without mineral commodities. The article goes on to state that more than one-half of all components in a mobile device are made from mined materials. Copper is used to conduct electricity and heat. silver is used to create electric pathways. to produce speakers, vibration motors, and microphones a source of rare-earths elements called Bastnaesite is used. Chile is the leader in global mined copper production. Mexico is the leader in silver mined for use in mobile phones followed by Peru.