Deroy Murdock: Central American migrants should caravan to Panama

Caravan migrants accuse US border agents of 'repression' by using tear gas


Go South, young man. Go South!

The so-called caravan members currently occupying the Benito Juarez Sports Center in Tijuana, Mexico, number some 5,700, by National Public Radio’s count. The border-hating Left wants Americans to believe that this is a giant exercise in day care, with Latinx mothers using strollers to wheel their babies into the U.S.A. In fact, NPR’s David Welna reports, “About 3,700 of those people are men, about 1,000 are women, and about 1,000 are children.” So, the “caravan” is 65 percent adult males — mainly unattached young men from Guatemala and Honduras.

Moreover, between April 19 and September 30, Border Patrol agents separated 507 illegal aliens from their purported family units, including those in 170 “families” in which “parents” and “children” were not related. Among them, 197 adults and 139 juveniles tried to lie their way into America by pretending to be kin. Department of Homeland Security spokeswoman Katie Waldman decried “the rampant fraud taking place at our Southern border.”

I have searched in vain for the scroll or tablet that grants folks like these the right to march north, demolish the Guatemala/Mexico border fence, and demand entry into this country, while, as happened Sunday, throwing stones and bottles at American officials. DHS stated that there were “multiple U.S. Border Patrol agents hit by rocks.”

But rather than north, Guatemalans, Hondurans, and Salvadorans should caravan south — to Panama. It’s the wealthiest country between the U.S. and Colombia. So maybe these folks should seek better lives there.<br><br>

“This caravan, unlike previous caravans, had already entered #Mexico violently and attacked border police in two other countries,” Homeland Security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen explained Monday, via Facebook. “I refuse to believe that anyone honestly maintains that attacking law enforcement with rocks and projectiles is acceptable. It is shocking that I have to explain this, but officers can be seriously or fatally injured in such attacks. Self-defense isn’t debatable for most law-abiding Americans.”

So these diligent public servants defended themselves with tear gas — or “chemical weapons,” as Senator Brian Schatz (D., Hawaii) initially described them, among many other deranged comparisons. But, as the Daily Caller discovered, when Barack Obama was president, he greeted migrants on the southern border with tear gas 79 times and pepper spray on 434 occasions.

Unlike Democrats’ jugular-bursting rage when the Trump administration employed these substances, Obama’s 513 uses of these irritants fueled only the Left’s interstellar silence. Who knows? Maybe these migrants wrapped their asylum applications around rocks and stuffed them into empty bottles. Perhaps they deserve applause for ingeniously delivering this paperwork.

Despite the bleatings of the no-borders crowd, America need not welcome anyone and everyone who barges in. This Republic is less like a catch-all community college and more like a prestigious university that may receive or reject whomever it wishes. If Georgetown, NYU, and Stanford may decide whom to admit, America should be at least as selective. Conversely, if the Left truly hates borders, then its elite educational bastions immediately should open themselves to everyone who can storm in and snag classroom seats.

So, why must potential Central Americans asylees venture north, all the way to the U.S.A., and forsake Mexico as “the first country of asylum” safe enough to harbor them, which international customs and precedents stipulate? While 1,700 to 2,000 migrants have accepted Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto’s offer of homes, doctors, schools, and jobs, thousands more echo Steely Dan’s immortal words: “Oh, no. Guadalajara won’t do!” They then roll inexorably toward San Ysidro, Calif.; Brownsville, Texas; and intervening points.

But rather than north, Guatemalans, Hondurans, and Salvadorans should caravan south — to Panama. It’s the wealthiest country between the U.S. and Colombia. So maybe these folks should seek better lives there.

According to the CIA World Factbook, per capita gross domestic product in El Salvador stood at $8,000 in 2017. In Guatemala, $8,200. Honduras: $5,600. Panama was miles ahead of them all at $25,400 — outrunning even Mexico’s $19,900.

Real GDP growth last year was 2.3 percent in El Salvador, 2.8 percent in Guatemala, and 4.8 percent in Honduras. Panama trounced these countries, at 5.4 percent, almost triple Mexico’s 2 percent expansion rate. Focus Economics predicts: “Growth is likely to pick up pace in 2019 and 2020.”

This piece appears courtesy of the National Review Online. To continue reading Deroy Murdock’s column click here

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