On June 3, the American Farm Bureau sent President Joe Biden’s administration a letter begging for help after the surge in illegal aliens since January have “severely” impacted ranchers and their families by destroying crops, increasing crime, and causing other hazards. The letter was signed by Farm Bureaus from all 50 states, plus Puerto Rico.
The letter was addressed to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Agriculture Sec. Tom Vilsack, and Interior Sec, Deb Haaland.
“We have been listening to the concerns of our members and hearing how their livelihoods are being affected by the surge on the border. Farm and ranch families, many of whom have owned land for generations, are bearing the brunt of this unprecedented influx and have never seen a more dire situation,” the farmers wrote.
“They shared how their crops and property are being damaged, which in turn has caused financial hardship,” their letter continued. “For example, these landowners are experiencing cut fences, destroyed crops, compromised water sources, vandalism, litter on their property and more. Most importantly, the security and safety of these families are at stake given the current circumstances.”
Border crossings have surged to the highest records in nearly two decades, with more than 170,000 having been stopped in May by Border Patrol since January, according to Axios.
These migrants are often brought by coyotes — human traffickers paid thousands of dollars to bring vulnerable individuals and children to the U.S. border.
The Farm Bureau writes that, “Human smugglers (Coyotes) are making false promises and doing whatever it takes to get paid and get away, including jeopardizing lives and property. In their desperation to evade law enforcement, Coyotes abandon people, steal vehicles, vandalize property and threaten the safety and livelihoods of farmers and ranchers.”
“They are often criminals who smuggle drugs and firearms into the country, frequently leaving them on farmers’ and ranchers’ property, causing unrest for farm and ranch families,” the farmers note.
The letter also notes that the crisis does not just impact border states, as illegal aliens travel through the country. It ends by begging, “On behalf of farm and ranch families and our communities, we urge you to recognize the crisis and take swift action.”
As RedState reported Saturday, Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei blamed President Biden and his colleagues for the recent border surge. As he said, “a lukewarm message…only creates the opportunity to misinterpret” and leads to coyotes twisting the words to convince migrants to pay for the journey.
For the Biden administration’s part, Vice President Kamala Harris has stated recently that their focus is on the “root causes” of migration such as climate change. To that extent, here’s Bochie’s view of the situation:
Kamala Harris has finally thrust herself into the spotlight the last week with her much-ballyhooed trip to Central America. Instead of actually visiting the border where the illegal immigration crisis is, something she’s still neglected to do at all during her tenure, she went to countries like Guatemala to lecture them on climate change. You know, because that’s the supposed “root cause” that we can fix or something along with systemic poverty in these countries — something we can’t even fix at home.
In addition to having our own poverty to worry about, the evidence shows that “addressing root causes” via increased foreign doesn’t actually solve the problem of illegal immigration. In fact, as studies in Europe have shown, foreign aid actually likely increases illegal immigration because it gives poor migrants the opportunity to earn money, which is then spent on the journey to a better-developed nation where there is always going to better economic opportunity.
The United States has experienced this phenomenon numerous times.
Consider the following story of the Stay Here Center in Guatemala from 2019. The school was supposed to teach poor Guatemalans skills that increased their economic success including learning English. Yet, when a teacher asked her students if they wanted to learn English so they could find work in the U.S., every hand shot up in agreement. This anecdotal story, plus the aforementioned study, shows in part why Vice President Harris’ solution of sending more aid to these countries will likely only increase illegal immigration.
But what did help put a dent in the illegal immigration problem was President Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy, where migrants applying for asylum were forced to stay in Mexico while a U.S. court heard their asylum case. This gutted the ability of coyotes to promise entry into the U.S., thereby destroying the coyote’s business model.
Prior to this policy, asylum seekers were allowed to stay in America; if they arrived at our border and declared asylum, they were released into the U.S. and were simply trusted to show up to their asylum court hearings. But, President Trump, in conjunction with Mexico, scrapped that policy, replaced it with “Remain in Mexico,” and decreased border crossings in the process.
Trump’s policies on the border overall were so effective, that the Los Angeles Times ran a story lamenting that human traffickers were out of a job. Here’s what one coyote told the media in 2019 regarding the human-trafficking business:
“It’s just too hard to do the job right now,” said Hugo, who makes his living as a people smuggler, or coyote, guiding migrants on the often-perilous journey from Guatemala through Mexico to the U.S. border.
Biden repealed this policy, and to the surprise of no one, created the border crisis that we now see. The coyotes are back in power. If his White House wants to solve the problem, he would be wise to re-implement “Remain in Mexico,” among other Trump border policies.
But, as of press time, the Biden administration has not responded to the American Farm Bureau’s letter — and the crisis continues.