Sporting cell phones, brand-name clothes — and babies, another 1,000-strong migrant caravan heads for the US
Get ready for another migrant caravan coming up from Honduras to the U.S. border, organized by activist groups there calling for volunteers to beef up the numbers.
OANN reports that the latest one taking off is 1,000 strong and loaded with people carrying babies.
Yet another migrant caravan bound for the U.S. is forming in Honduras. According to reports Wednesday, at least 1,000 migrants have joined the new caravan as it prepares to depart for the United States-Mexico border.
The caravan is the fourth large group of migrants to leave Honduras since last October, and it includes families and young children. It reportedly formed as a result of a "mobilization campaign" on social media.
It's a very good report, but perhaps the most salient point is listed in the comments section, with OANN readers commenting on the obvious prosperity of the migrants who are claiming poverty. Some are obese, some have brand new clothes on, virtually all have expensive cell phones, and many go for brand-name traveling gear. One other thing they would obviously have a lot of is money, to make a trip of this scale. The very poor of countries such as Honduras (and certainly the overseas country nationals who may be joining them) do not have the means to migrate.
That calls to mind a great unexplored topic on the migration front: the fact that Central America's countries are not all that poor, and, in fact, they're in an economic boom time right now.
As I noted a few weeks ago in this piece on the rise in remittances to Central American countries:
The press is reporting that these places are economic disaster areas and the impoverished border-surgers' choice to emigrate to the U.S. illegally can be only because they are escaping poverty. What baloney. The data show that border-surgers are actually fleeing booming economies, not Venezuelan-style hellholes, and are beefing their home countries' economies up further with their surging remittances, signaling more to come. Big dollar surges into a country can very well propel lots of money for investment and consumption, as well as prop up the tax base of these countries, bolstering these governments. That would explain why so many of the previous caravan border-surgers had such new-looking clothes and lifestyles of the rich and famous Instagrams, as well as some spectacular ingratitude. Hellholes these place are not — they've got a lot of money out there to pay for their poor, from both remittances and their booming economies at home — and they don't do it. Worse still, that $17 billion they took in last year, tax-free, and the $120 billion they took over the decade, tax free, subtracts that much money from U.S. GNP. What a gift these places have been getting. Forget not that they are also the largest recipients of U.S. aid.
These people are prosperous in part because they have the use of the U.S. dollar, which means no Venezuela-style inflation or devaluation. They have coveted U.S. free trade pacts, and they have what is recognized as democracy — with the vote — from international organizations (Marxist Nicaragua excepted).
No wonder they look so prosperous. The poverty talk and the gang talk are weak tea, given that most gang violence involves people who've gotten involved with gangs, and the desire for a better job doesn't mean that the jobs in Central America are particularly bad.
Yet the U.S. is overwhelmed by numbers at the border, with most would-be entrants bringing their babies as reason to force U.S. officials to allow them unvetted into the U.S., as well as work and claim U.S. services, all under the header of "asylum," which, by the way, costs nothing to apply for. Even the New York Times is calling it a "breaking point" crisis now.
With a deal like that, who with any money in El Salvador, Guatemala, or Honduras opts for it? Many do, and these are the ones with enough cash to pay for internet and social media accounts to use as a means to jump onboard the caravan.
It's almost a self-canceling idea that these guys are fleeing anything based on these pictures — I have a few screen grabs from a more recent OANN broadcast above, via YouTube, but take a look at the one on this caravan report by OANN. Should the U.S. be accepting every comer from Central America wanting a better job than what's hardly a starvation economy in Central America? This looks more like a bar call, and the U.S. is the open bar.
Image credits: Screen shots from shareable OANN report via YouTube.