The Link between the Drug War and Immigration

The Current Situation:

Donald Trump’s administration had signed in a draconian law. This law made it necessary for immigration officers to deport adults who were illegally entering the United States. However, the children who were detained in the United States were to be kept in detention centers built specifically for the purpose. The end result was that Trump and his associates had in effect brought in a law which mandated separation of families. Obviously, this did not go down well with the American population. The Americans started vehemently opposing Trump in this regard with surveys showing that more than 70% of the people were very angry with the move. Finally, Trump had to relent and sign another executive order which finally laid an end to this state-sponsored separation of families.

The problem is that the immigration issue is always seen through the lens of politics. In real life, economics may also be driving the decisions of the immigrants to a large extent. In this article, we will have a closer look at the root cause of the immigration problem.

Where Are The Immigrants Coming From?

Ever since the United States annexed Texas, Mexican immigrants have been routinely moving across the border in search of better economic opportunities. However, this phenomenon was restricted to Mexico alone. Over the past few years, there has been an incredible surge in the number of immigrants who have come into the United States from other Central American countries like Honduras, Belize, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Panama, Costa Rica, etc. Most of the immigrants that are now being apprehended by the Trump administration are from these Central American countries.

Why Are The Immigrants Coming To a Hostile Country?

Immigrants do not make big bucks by merely crossing the American border. Instead, they are more likely to have lost money than gained any. This is because first, they have to give up anything that they already have in their home country. On top of that, they have to spend money as well as resources, in order to undertake a difficult journey. The problem is that even if they complete the journey successfully, they will most likely reach a country, where the political leadership is vehemently opposed to them. Going through the entire ordeal only makes sense only if what these immigrants are leaving behind is even worse than what they are getting in the United States.

How The War On Drugs Increases Immigration?

One really doesn’t need statistics to understand why Central American people are risking their all to find themselves a better country. A mere look at the murder rates tells the story. El-Salvador, a small nation in Central America had one of the highest rates of violence in the world. Honduras, Belize, Guatemala and Costa Rica all suffer from the exact same problem. 17 out of the 20 most violent countries in the world are in Central America. Most people caught up in violent countries try to flee them. This is why we have refugees from Iraq and Syria fleeing to other countries. This is also the reason why American is intercepting a lot of Central Americans at their borders.

How to Solve the Problem?

Now, the violence in these countries is not self-inflicted. America has had a role to play in the increasing violence in these places. All these countries have been major suppliers of illegal narcotics to America. As a result, they have been facing American fury as the war on drugs rages on. American military supports and provides weapons to the local military and police. The idea is to wipe out drug cartels and eliminate the supply.

However, because of corruption, a lot of these weapons are diverted and reach the drug cartels themselves. Drug cartels need small spaces in the jungle to operate. Hence, they do not overthrow the entire government. However, forces led by American military have started attacking the cartels in the jungle. In retaliation, a lot of these cartels have unleashed violence on the common population. The end result has been that violence has spread all across the region. Hence, the residents are not fleeing their countries for economic gain. Instead, they are fleeing their countries so that they can provide security to their families and children.

In essence, it seems like America is first creating problems by unleashing violence in Central American countries. Then, when the citizens are fleeing violence, they are trying to intensify border patrol to stop the immigrants. The solution to the problem is the exact opposite of what America doing right now. Maybe the war on drugs should be simply called off. A lot of these nations are rich in natural resources and natural beauty. Hence, their economies may proposer once the violence stops. If Central American citizens have safety and employment, they will have no reason to flee to America!

Calling off the war on drugs and concentrating on the demand side of the drugs equation will bring back safety and prosperity to the American continent. America should drastically reduce its military operations in these nations. Instead, they should try counseling and de-addiction at home.

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