As they have for the past hundred years or so, people born in the nations of Central and northern South America are trying, and in many cases, succeeding in entering the United States. They do this for as many reasons as there are people; ambition, poverty, restlessness, greed, fear, hope, despair, foolishness, criminality, boredom...and in all probability a mixture of all or much of the above.
This is troublesome on several levels.
It is troublesome for their home countries, who often lose the very people that might help those nations grow; the people who are motivated by their existing conditions to do something about them rather than sitting around with their thumbs up their asses and their brains in neutal.
It is troublesome for the region, in that it increases disruption, secrecy, and chaos; among the migrants, in their native lands, the places they pass through, and their destination - where they are "illegal", by definition a challenge to the common law.
It is troublesome for the United States as it brings home the vast disparity in political stability and economic wealth between the migrants, their home countries and their destination. The northern part of the Western hemisphere is a geopolitical conundrum unlike anything I can think of in history; an incredibly wealthy, politically stable empire connected by an immense, nearly indefensible land border with an incredibly impoverished, politically volatile congeries of semi- and nearly-failed statelets with which the empire is not openly at war by attempting to either physically subjugate or suborn.
Not surprisingly, these troublesome conditions have produced a group of U.S. domestic political "solutions" that can be roughly divided by the hue of their proponents.
U.S. "conservatives" - or radical reactionaries, to give them the name befitting their actual politics and policies - being the party of the old, the white, and/or the wealthy lean towards punitive ideas that can be summed up as "wall 'em off, hunt 'em down, ship 'em back" since those walled, hunted, and shipped are presumed to be so overwhelmingly young, brownish, and poor that the sorts of people who make up the current GOP cannot imagine how any of that could ever harm them and the current ideology of the GOP can be summed up as "Fuck you, Jack, I've got mine!".
To me this is nonsensical, trying to hold back the incoming tide. The political and economic disparity is too great, the attraction of El Norte too strong, the deterrent of punishment too weak because the expense of actually walling/hunting/shipping would be astronomical if enacted.
U.S. liberals, being the party of who-the-fuck-can-figure-out-what but typically younger, browner, and poorer than the typical GOP constituent is kind of all over the shop about this but tends more towards accomodating at least some of these migrants with options; towards becoming citizens eventually, and up to that point reduced harrassment and pursuit for the crime of existing inside a country not of their birth.
To me this is craven, ignoring problems because that are "too hard" or wilful denial of the problems inherent in the existence of people who are in but not of a republic, residents but not citizens of a democratic state. First, because a polity that cannot control its own borders controls nothing else worthwhile. And, second, because the problem of allowing a large population of people in one's nation that exists outside the law and its formalities is that this group must work to eat, and, because it has no legal protections, will and does work for pittances. This, in turn, acts as a boat anchor for the wages and conditions of the rest of the society's working people. If I can replace you with someone who cannot and will not strike or otherwise protest when I abuse them for fear of being deported...where is your protection from my abuse?
I will admit right here; I don't have a "solution" for these problems simply because I think that the problems are too complex for "a solution" and I suspect that the solutions, assuming that there are any realistic ones, involve a level of difficulty and expense for the United States that I honestly doubt my nation and its citizens are willing to suffer. The last time I wrote about this - in 2010 - I said the same thing I said the time I'd written about it before, in 2007:
"Perhaps because (we) don't want to remind (ourselves) that governments who build walls between peoples often find themselves building walls and barriers against their own people. Or that even the most fearsome barrier can and will be overcome if the people trying to cross it are desperate enough and brave enough.What makes this frustrating is that I've been saying this same thing for seven years now. It made sense to me then, and it makes sense to me now, and from what I can tell not a fucking particle of that fucking sense has made its way into the public fucking debate on this fucking subject.
The real issue - the one Which Dare Not Speak Its Name - is that the institutional poverty, misgovernance and social maladjustment of most Latin American countries is so profound and so destructive that to address it would take every penny that the U.S. has spent on poorly planned foreign adventures and more. Much more.
So instead we get this idiotic argument that all we need to do is fence these little heatherns out and everything will be Good. God will once again be White and in His Heaven, the food will magically get harvested, processed, cooked and served by "Real Amurikans" (that is, legal citizens) who will suddenly, magically, want to work for the pittance we want to pay for these jobs to prevent our food, clothing and service costs from reflecting what it would cost to pay humans actually living wages to do these things.
As Hadrian himself might have said: Nam tua res agitur, paries cum proximus ardet.
It is your business when your neighbour's house is on fire."
So here we are. Again. With people showing up on the southern border because their house is burning down, and our collective reaction is anger and hatred from one side and despair and resignation from the other, and nowhere to be seen is anyone willing to say what I've said above.
Or listen to me saying it.
So I might as well blog about fucking kittens.