The 'illegal immigrant' surge has a lot to do with what's happening in Central America

It would be easy to blame President Obama's pandering of the Mexican American vote for "the surge" in people crossing the border.

Yes, this is a president who "panders like no one else" but this time the problem is the collapse of Guatemala and other Central American countries.  Sadly, no one is watching what is happening in that region.

They are coming, crossing Mexico and headed for Texas, according to The New York Times:

"The migrants are no longer primarily Mexican laborers. Instead they are Central Americans, including many families with small children and youngsters without their parents, who risk a danger-filled journey across Mexico.

Driven out by deepening poverty but also by rampant gang violence, increasing numbers of migrants caught here seek asylum, setting off lengthy legal procedures to determine whether they qualify.

The new migrant flow, largely from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, is straining resources and confounding Obama administration security strategies that work effectively in other regions.

It is further complicating President Obama’s uphill push on immigration, fueling Republican arguments for more border security before any overhaul."

Frankly, this is a human tragedy of unprecedented proportions.  There was a related story about children crossing the US-Mexico border alone.

The "surge" will continue for several reasons:

First, Central America has become the new base for cartels, sort of like Afghanistan became a terrorist haven in the 1990s.  We may need a multinational force to go in and clean up the region or it will only get worse.

Mexico has done a good job of going after the cartels and capturing or killing the bosses. Mexico is winning the war against the cartels but the price has been very high, as any Mexican citizen will tell you.

Second, Central American governments do not have the military resources to fight well armed groups.  They just can't do it.  Violence is a daily grind for most people in those little countries.  Talk to any of your Central American friends with family down south.

Third, and most importantly, the Obama administration needs a version of The Merida Plan that President Bush and President Calderon of Mexico created in 2007.  

The problem is there for everyone to see: overwhelmed Central American governments.

They need military assistance. It's time for President Obama to tell the American people just how dangerous it is to have these governments under siege by cartels.  The region could also turn into a haven for terrorists who are always looking for a place to reside and enter the US.

Of course, you can kiss "immigration reform" goodbye with stories like these from the Texas border. In other words, the border is not secure..

Let me add this. It will be very interesting to watch how Mexico reacts to all of these Central American refugees using their country as a "pathway to the US."   My guess is that a lot of Central Americans will get a taste of Mexico's immigration laws, get detained and sent back south!

Bottom line:  This is a terrible human tragedy and there is no end in sight.


P. S. You can hear CANTO TALK here & follow me on Twitter @ scantojr.

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