Well-heeled Haitian migrants heading north drive poor Colombians out of their homes

The press and its Democrat allies are portraying a wave of Haitian migrants heading north from South America as just poor, pitiful, refugees looking for relief from poverty.

Turns out that's not the case. 

It's well-known that most of those coming up are country-shoppers rather than refugees, having been previously resettled in prosperous Chile and Brazil as refugees a decade ago. What's more, a lot of them have gotten jobs and made money.

Which is why we are seeing what we are seeing as some 60,000 of them make their way into Colombia and beyond on the path to the U.S.  According to Reuters:

NECOCLI, Colombia, Oct 1 (Reuters) - An influx of thousands of mostly Haitian migrants seeking transport northward toward the United States is pushing locals in the Colombian beach town of Necocli out of housing, residents said, as landlords favor migrants able to pay in dollars.

The backlog of migrants waiting in the town for scarce places on boat transport toward the jungles of the Darien Gap in Panama, where smugglers guide groups northward on foot, has swelled to up to 19,000 after the lifting of COVID-19 border closures.

Though many migrants, low on cash, are sleeping in tents or on the town's beach, others are able to rent rooms by the day or share houses.

That has pushed out dozens of permanent residents.

"The owners of the house, without mincing words, just said they needed us to move out as quickly as possible," said dance teacher Yesid Puche.

"From a moral standpoint it's a bit sad that the same people from the town where you grew up will turn their backs on you for a few pesos."

 So the big-dollar Haitians are offering so much money to landlords that they're telling regular tenants to get out. That's disgusting but, apparently, that's legal in Colombia. Some 19,000 have flooded into the little Colombian beach town of Necocli at once, creating the problem.

It's also upside-down economics. The Haitians are supposed to be the poor and powerless ones who can't bear to live in a supposed hellhole like ... Chile. They're miserable, they're supposedly discriminated against. But in Colombia, they're the rich guys kicking the poor locals around with the flash of their dollars. And those poor locals are not the ones planning to head for the U.S. border to claim refugee status -- the rich Haitians are.

For context, take a look at the photo carousel from Reuters at the bottom of this story, particularly the third of the four pictures for an indicator. That's not poverty Those people are well-heeled Western tourists. The first and second pictures are telling, too -- brand new suede designer boots without a hint of dirt on them in the first, an expensive designer haircut on one of the children in the second.  

Fact is, the Haitians fleeing all that supposed poverty and oppression are actually pretty well-heeled. This Los Angeles Times report notes that Chile has taken in more than a hundred thousand migrants in the last decade and is a country that has no history of either slavery or black migration, so the racism claims are a stretch. The country has been pretty good for the Haitians who have entered legally, assimilated, taken Chilean citizenship, and learned the Spanish language, according to the report. (Those who are there illegally and working illegally, and who have refused to learn Spanish are also doing better than they would in Haiti, but not as well as the lawful entrants. They're the ones crying 'racism.') Chile has one of Latin America's lowest poverty rates as does Brazil. Here's what the United Nations had to say:

In an analysis of the countries with the greatest reductions in poverty in the 2012-2017 period, in Chile, El Salvador and the Dominican Republic, the increase in income from wages in lower-income households was the source that contributed the most to that reduction, while in Costa Rica, Panama and Uruguay, the main factor was pensions and transfers received by lower-income households.

El Salvador, eh? What a coincidence -- that country ships a lot of well-heeled illegals to the U.S., too. It illustrates an iron law of illegal immigration: The dirt-poor do not migrate, they don't have the money for it. But the middle- and lower-middle-class? You can find them in Del Rio.

As for the Haitians, the reports of their cash come from more than one source. Remember Todd Bensmann, the think tank researcher who learned that Mexico was the one behind the Haitian migrant surge in Del Rio? I wrote about his report, here. He's got another one out, a more refined and detailed report of what went on in that border surge at The Federalist, and he found in his on-the-ground reporting that a lot of them had admitted they spent a lot of money that they somehow had for this journey. One of the migrants spoke about the deterrent effect of deportations to Haiti, based on its potential for migrants to lose cash:

Wholesale repatriation by air did not seem necessary; just a small percentage seemed enough to send Haitians fleeing, dozens of migrants told CIS in Ciudad Acuna, to which they initially fled. Asked why one was going back to Tapachula, one typical migrant who’d fled Del Rio answered, with a touch of anger: “Because Biden said all Haitians coming will be returned to their country. We spent much money to come here. Much, much, much money. And we get nothing now. This is very sad for me.”

Of course, the Trump administration succeeded in reducing a mass migration episode that erupted in early 2019, in large part, by using air repatriation to home countries too. In 2019, for instance, the Trump administration deported 50,000 Guatemalan immigrants in a bid to increase the risk to others that their smuggling fees and effort would not pay off. Many stopped trying to come, unwilling to waste smuggling fee investments.

People with nothing don't care about those things -- any number times zero is still zero. But people with cash do pay attention, and these Haitian migrants obviously did.

Now the press is still claiming they're all just poor refugees who deserve a free ride from Uncle Sam. In reality, they're country-shoppers, looking for the best deal, taking their cues from Joe Biden's invitation to all illegal migrants, and they don't qualify for any of the reasons to stay that they claim. Far from poor, they're rich guys who got here by trampling over the real poor of Latin America on their way.  

Image: Screen shot from video posted by France24, via YouTube

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