Will Biden’s Central American Plan Slow Migration (or Speed It Up)?

Yves here. As this post explains, Biden’s response to the US having destabilized governments in Central America, producing migration to the Mexican border, is to bribe those governments to do a better job of barring departures. US “aid” is primarily to strengthen domestic police and security forces. rather than improve economic conditions and thus reduce some incentives to leave.

By Aviva Chomsky. Originally published at TomDispatch

Joe Biden entered the White House with some inspiring yet contradictory positions on immigration and Central America. He promised to reverse Donald Trump’s draconian anti-immigrant policies while, through his “Plan to Build Security and Prosperity in Partnership with the People of Central America,” restoring “U.S. leadership in the region” that he claimed Trump had abandoned. For Central Americans, though, such “leadership” has an ominous ring.

Although the second half of his plan’s name does, in fact, echo that of left-wing, grassroots organizations like the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES), its content highlights a version of security and prosperity in that region that’s more Cold War-like than CISPES-like. Instead of solidarity (or even partnership) with Central America, Biden’s plan actually promotes an old economic development model that has long benefited U.S. corporations. It also aims to impose a distinctly militarized version of “security” on the people of that region. In addition, it focuses on enlisting Central American governments and, in particular, their militaries to contain migration through the use of repression.

Linking Immigration and Foreign Policy

The clearest statement of the president’s Central America goals appears in his “U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021,” sent to Congress on January 20th. That proposal offers a sweeping set of changes aimed at eliminating President Trump’s racist exclusions, restoring rights to asylum, and opening a path to legal status and citizenship for the immigrant population. After the anti-immigrant barrage of the last four years, that proposal seems worth celebrating. It follows in the footsteps of previous bipartisan “comprehensive” compromises like the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act and a failed 2013 immigration bill, both of which included a path to citizenship for many undocumented people, while dedicating significant resources to border “security.”

Read closely, a significant portion of Biden’s immigration proposal focuses on the premise that addressing the root causes of Central America’s problems will reduce the flow of immigrants to the U.S. border. In its own words, the Biden plan promises to promote “the rule of law, security, and economic development in Central America” in order to “address the key factors” contributing to emigration. Buried in its fuzzy language, however, are long-standing bipartisan Washington goals that should sound familiar to those who have been paying attention in these years.

Their essence: that millions of dollars in “aid” money should be poured into upgrading local military and police forces in order to protect an economic model based on private investment and the export of profits. Above all, the privileges of foreign investors must not be threatened. As it happens, this is the very model that Washington has imposed on the countries of Central America over the past century, one that’s left its lands corrupt, violent, and impoverished, and so continued to uproot Central Americans and send them fleeing toward the United States.

Crucial to Biden’s plan, as to those of his predecessors, is another key element: to coerce Mexico and Guatemala into serving as proxies for the wall only partially built along the southern border of the U.S. and proudly promoted by presidents from Bill Clinton to Donald Trump.

While the economic model lurking behind Biden’s plan may be old indeed, the attempt to outsource U.S. immigration enforcement to Mexican and Central American military and police forces has proven to be a distinctly twenty-first-century twist on border policy.

Outsourcing the Border (from Bush to Biden)

The idea that immigration policy could be outsourced began long before Donald Trump notoriously threatened, in mid-2019, to impose tariffs on Mexican goods to pressure that country’s new president into agreeing to his demand to collaborate with Washington’s anti-immigrant agenda. That included, of course, Trump’s controversial “remain in Mexico” policy that has continued to strand tens of thousands of asylum-seekers there.

Meanwhile, for almost two decades the United States has been bullying (and funding) military and police forces to its south to enforce its immigration priorities, effectively turning other countries’ borders into extensions of the U.S. one. In the process, Mexico’s forces have regularly been deployed on that country’s southern border, and Guatemala’s on its border with Honduras, all to violently enforce Washington’s immigration policies.

Such outsourcing was, in part, a response to the successes of the immigrant rights movement in this country. U.S. leaders hoped to evade legal scrutiny and protest at home by making Mexico and Central America implement the uglier aspects of their policies.

It all began with the Mérida Initiative in 2007, a George W. Bush-initiated plan that would direct billions of dollars to military equipment, aid, and infrastructure in Mexico (with smaller amounts going to Central America). One of its four pillars was the creation of “a 21st century border” by pushing Mexico to militarize its southern border. By 2013, Washington had funded 12 new military bases along that border with Guatemala and a 100-mile “security cordon” north of it.

In response to what was seen as a child-migrant crisis in the summer of 2014 (sound familiar?), President Barack Obama further pressured Mexico to initiate a new Southern Border Program. Since then, tens of millions of dollars a year have gone toward the militarization of that border and Mexico was soon detaining tens of thousands of migrants monthly. Not surprisingly, deportations and human-rights violations against Central American migrants shot up dramatically there. “Our border today in effect is Mexico’s border with Honduras and Guatemala,” exulted Obama’s former border czar Alan Bersin in 2019. A local activist was less sanguine, protesting that the program “turned the border region into a war zone.”

President Trump blustered and bullied Mexico and various Central American countries far more openly than the previous two presidents while taking such policies to new levels. Under his orders, Mexico formed a new, militarized National Guard and deployed 12,000 of its members to the Guatemalan border, even as funding from Washington helped create high-technology infrastructure along Mexico’s southern border, rivaling that on the U.S. border.

Trump called for reducing aid to Central America. Yet under his watch, most of the $3.6 billion appropriated by Congress continued to flow there, about half of it aimed at strengthening local military and police units. Trump did, however, temporarily withhold civilian aid funds to coerce Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador into signing “safe third country” agreements that would allow the United States to deport people with valid asylum claims to those very countries.

Trump also demanded that Guatemala increase security along its southern border “to stem the flow of irregular migration” and “deploy officials from U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to advise and mentor host nation police, border security, immigration, and customs counterparts.” Once the Central American countries conceded to Trump’s demands, aid was restored.

This February, President Biden suspended those safe third country agreements, but is clearly otherwise ready to continue to outsource border enforcement to Mexico and Central America.

The Other Side of Militarization: “Economic Development”

As Democratic and Republican administrations alike outsourced a militarized response to immigration, they also sought to sell their agendas with promises of economic-development aid to Central America. However, they consistently promoted the very kind of assistance that historically brought violence and poverty to the region — and so led directly to today’s migrant crisis.

The model Washington continues to promote is based on the idea that, if Central American governments can woo foreign investors with improved infrastructure, tax breaks, and weak environmental and labor laws, the “free market” will deliver the investment, jobs, and economic growth that (in theory) will keep people from wanting to migrate in the first place. Over and over again in Central America’s tormented history, however, exactly the opposite has happened. Foreign investment flowed in, eager to take advantage of the region’s fertile lands, natural resources, and cheap labor. This form of development — whether in support of banana and coffee plantations in the nineteenth century or sugar, cotton, and cattle operations after World War II — brought Central America to its revolutions of the 1980s and its north-bound mass migration of today.

As a model, it relies on militarized governments to dispossess peasant farmers, freeing the land for foreign investors. Similarly, force and terror are brought to bear to maintain a cheap and powerless working class, allowing investors to pay little and reap fantastic profits. Such operations, in turn, have brought deforestation to the countryside, while their cheap exports to the United States and elsewhere have helped foster the high-consumption lifestyles that have only accelerated climate change — bringing ever fiercer weather, including the rising sea levels, more intense storms, droughts, and floods that have further undermined the livelihoods of the Central American poor.

Starting in the 1970s, many of those poor workers and peasants pushed for land reform and investment in basic rights like food, health, and education instead of simply further enriching foreign and local elites. When peaceful protest was met with violence, revolution followed, although only in Nicaragua did it triumph.

Washington spent the 1980s attempting to crush Nicaragua’s successful revolution and the revolutionary movements against the right-wing military governments of El Salvador and Guatemala. The peace treaties of the 1990s ended the armed conflicts, but never addressed the fundamental social and economic divides that underlay them. In fact, the end of those conflicts only opened the regional floodgates for massive new foreign investment and export booms. These involved, among other things, the spread of maquiladora export-processing plants and the growing of new export-oriented “non-traditional” fruits and vegetables, as well as a boom in extractive industries like gold, nickel, and petroleum, not to speak of the creation of new infrastructure for mass tourism.

In the 1980s, refugees first began fleeing north, especially from El Salvador and Guatemala, then riven by war, repression, and the violence of local paramilitary and death squads. The veneer of peace in the 1990s in no way brought an end to poverty, repression, and violence. Both public and private armed forces provided “security” — but only to elites and the new urban and rural megaprojects they sponsored.

If a government did threaten investors’ profits in any way, as when El Salvador declared a moratorium on mining licenses, the U.S.-sponsored Central America Free Trade Agreement enabled foreign corporations to sue and force it to submit to binding arbitration by a World Bank body. In the Obama years, when the elected, reformist president of Honduras tried to enact labor and environmental improvements, Washington gave the nod to a coup there and celebrated when the new president proudly declared the country “open for business” with a package of laws favoring foreign investors.

Journalist David Bacon termed that country’s new direction a “poverty-wage economic model” that only fostered the rise of gangs, drug trafficking, and violence. Protest was met with fierce repression, even as U.S. military aid flowed in. Prior to the coup, Hondurans had barely figured among Central American migrants to the United States. Since 2009, its citizens have often come to predominate among those forced to flee their homes and head north.

President Obama’s 2014 Alliance for Prosperity offered a new round of aid for investor-driven economic development. Journalist Dawn Paley characterized that Alliance as in “large part a plan to build new infrastructure that will benefit transnational corporations,” including “tax breaks for corporate investors and new pipelines, highways, and power lines to speed resource extraction and streamline the process of import, assembly, and export at low-wage maquilas.” One major project was a new gas pipeline to facilitate exports of U.S. natural gas to Central America.

It was Obama who oversaw Washington’s recognition of the coup in Honduras. It was Trump who looked the other way when Guatemala in 2019 and Honduras in 2020 expelled international anti-corruption commissions. And it was Trump who agreed to downplay the mounting corruption and drug trafficking charges against his friend, Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández, as long as he promoted an investor-friendly economy and agreed to collaborate with the U.S. president’s anti-immigrant agenda.

The January 2021 Caravan Marks the Arrival of the Biden Years

All signs point to the Biden years continuing what’s become the Washington norm in Central America: outsourcing immigration policy, militarizing security there, and promoting a model of development that claims to deter migration while actually fueling it. In fact, President Biden’s proposal designates $4 billion over four years for the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development to distribute. Such disbursement, however, would be conditioned on progress toward Washington-approved goals like “improv[ing] border security,” “inform[ing]… citizens of the dangers of the journey to the southwest border of the United States,” and “resolv[ing] disputes involving the confiscation of real property of United States entities.” Significant resources would also be directed to further developing “smart” border technology in that region and to Border Patrol operations in Central America.

A preview of how this is likely to work came just as Biden took office in January 2021.

One predictable result of Washington’s outsourcing of immigration control is that the migrant journey from Central America has become ever more costly and perilous. As a result, some migrants have begun gathering in large public “caravans” for protection. Their aim: to reach the U.S. border safely, turn themselves in to the border patrol, and request asylum. In late January 2021, a caravan of some 7,500 Hondurans arrived at the Guatemalan border in hopes that the new president in Washington would, as promised, reverse Trump’s controversial remain-in-Mexico policy of apparently endless internment in crowded, inadequate camps just short of the U.S.

They hadn’t known that Biden would, in fact, continue his predecessors’ outsourcing of immigration policy to Mexico and Central America. As it happened, 2,000 tear-gas and baton-wielding Guatemalan police and soldiers (armed, trained, and supported by the United States) massed at the Guatemala-Honduras border to drive them back.

One former Trump official (retained by President Biden) tweeted that Guatemala had “carr[ied] out its responsibilities appropriately and lawfully.” The Mexican government, too, praised Guatemala as it massed thousands of its troops on its own southern border. And Juan González, Biden’s National Security Council director for the Western Hemisphere lauded Guatemala’s “management of the migrant flow.”

In mid-March, President Biden appeared to link a positive response to Mexico’s request for some of Washington’s surplus Covid-19 vaccine to further commitments to cracking down on migrants. One demand: that Mexico suspend its own laws guaranteeing humane detention conditions for families with young children. Neither country had the capacity to provide such conditions for the large number of families detained at the border in early 2021, but the Biden administration preferred to press Mexico to ignore its own laws, so that it could deport more of those families and keep the problem out of sight of the U.S. public.

In late January 2021, CISPES joined a large coalition of peace, solidarity, and labor organizations that called upon the Biden administration to rethink its Central American plans. “The intersecting crises that millions in Central America face are the result of decades of brutal state repression of democratic movements by right-wing regimes and the implementation of economic models designed to benefit local oligarchs and transnational corporations,” CISPES wrote. “Far too often, the United States has been a major force behind these policies, which have impoverished the majority of the population and devastated the environment.”

The coalition called on Biden to reject Washington’s longstanding commitment to militarized security linked to the creation and reinforcement of investor-friendly extractive economies in Central America. “Confronting displacement demands a total rethinking of U.S. foreign policy,” CISPES urged. As of mid-March, the president had not responded in any fashion to the plea. My advice: don’t hold your breath waiting for such a response.

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  1. mwbworld

    Thanks for this. Back in the day was I was very involved with the Central America solidarity movement and was painfully of not only how much suffering the US policies and actions have caused there and how much the mass immigration we receive is because of us.

    And I completely pound my head against the wall trying to get Democrats and alleged liberals to stop focusing on the border immigration stuff and more of how our actions/choices destroy these peoples and drive that.

    I think the classic quote by Porfirio Diaz applies to CA as well: “Poor Mexico, so far from God and so close to the United States.”

  2. tegnost

    If we needed any more proof that the dems are the party of reagan, here it is. Why don’t we just change what we call central america to “the plantations”, that would make it sound like hilton head and there could be more eco-tourism. There is no heart in the american government. It’s all “money,money,money,…we must have it all.”. I cut my teeth on this issue in the ’80’s. Lots of protests
    (always with one or two “agent provocateurs” trying to get the protesters riled up but but we were trained to not do violence as it would undermine us) sorry to see it was a complete waste of time.
    Back in the day if you were a “liberal”, you were against this. Now the sign of being a “liberal” is an unquestioning dogmatic belief in the sanctity of supply side economics….it shows that you’re a serious person…

  3. Lee

    Kudos, Aviva, from a fellow member of the Derby street crew of old. Glad to see you’re still fighting the good fight.

  4. Susan the other

    Anybody else remember that Time magazine cover back in the late 60s entitled “The Landless Poor” – it was a photo of a Central American banana plantation worker (Dole no doubt) looking bereft of all hope. Maybe, maybe not. But history proves it was a hopeless situation because it has been going on, uninterrupted, for almost a century. Since the Cold War is over, one possible solution would be to reprogram “investors”. Let’s do a little MK-Ultra on those nitwits – they can’t get any worse than they already are. Their thinking and obsession with profit is the thing that must change. And the social demand for competition for profit must also get lost. If the world functioned at a steady pace, providing equity for all, then investment would be a different animal. It wouldn’t profiteer and exploit. Everybody talks about liquidity, but really all we have is a bunch of closely guarded reservoirs. Which only respond to frivolous cronies or disasters. We will never achieve equity and sustainability this way. Just release the river. There’s plenty of value for everyone.

  5. Alex Cox

    This is an excellent, comprehensive article. Ironically, yesterday the Honduran president’s brother was sentenced to life imprisonment by a New York court for drug trafficking. President Hernández’ name appeared 60 times in the indictment.

    There is, of course, a good model for the improvement of the lives of the Central American poor. It isn’t Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Panama or Costa Rica. What country could it be?

    1. Cat Burglar

      Been asking the same question.

      The four biggest Central American nations all had revolutionary movements in them crushed with US support, all except one. For some reason, it has the lowest numbers of migrants to the US of the four. Funny that only one of the four regularly receives condemnation from the USG, even if there is a coup or a fixed election in the others.

      Whenever the migrant issue comes up in conversation, I make sure to bring it up.

  6. Carolinian

    Excellent post. Time was there were many Dems who cared about human rights in Central America and not simply about virtue signaling over cages and how terrible Trump is/was. Of course when Trump does it it’s “racist” and when Bidenistas do it it’s “strategy.”

    I’ve seen another article that suggests Biden will continue existing policies because the border has become a cash cow for the MIC with lots of high tech gadgets. I’ve stayed at a New Mexico campground near the border and you could spot a tethered survellance blimp–sort of like a miniature WW2 barrage balloon–not far in the distance. There are also camera towers and drones, expensively acquired.

  7. Rod

    While laying out the Foreign Policies contributing to the current situation; which I can agree with, the article is delberatly bereft of other contributing factors.

    Forcing all Employers to comply with Legal Hiring Practices of the Employment Law in the USA would go a long way to discouraging pure Wage Migration.

    Some economist argue that immigration has a positive impacts on the American
    economy, but a vast majority of academic studies show that America’s least fortunate bear the
    burden of immigration’s impact. The competitive low-skilled jobs include the food and beverage
    industry, construction, agricultural, among many others

    What Immigration Means For U.S. Employment and Wages

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      The way to force all employERS to comply with legal hiring practices would be to put every outlaw employER in prison long enough that it would never be able to employ anyone ever again if it ever got back out of prison.

      We would have to put several hundred thousand outlaw employERS into prison. But we have the space.
      Just release all the non-violent drug offenders and expunge their records. Then we would have the space.
      There is nothing wrong with having a carceral state if we limit ourselves to incarcerating the right people.
      And outlaw employERS are the right people.

    2. Felix_47

      Well the reason the economists argue about the positive impact overall as opposed to the impact on low earners is because the immigrants consume food, cars, housing, cosmetics, liquor, shoes, clothing. Much of what they consume is from Asia, agreed, but services like medical care, legal services in personal injury and workers comp, associated medical care to prove claims and insurance costs and even teacher salaries and school costs (at 20,000 per capita) go into GDP and so GDP goes up although the immigrant might not benefit as much as the lawyers or doctors or business people. So one teenager from Honduras upon crossing the border bumps the US GDP automatically by 30,000 because of school and health care alone since they justifiably all qualify. If we took all undocumented out of LA County we would have a huge depression. It depends how you measure economic benefit.

  8. drumlin woodchuckles

    The coup against reform in Honduras was not just conducted by the ” US” in general. It was driven by Hillary Clinton very specifically in particular. She drove it and demanded it. Obama merely went along with it under pressure from Clinton because making Clinton shut up and sit down would have diverted energy from his goal of becoming America’s first Billionaire ex-President.

    This allowed drug cartels and gangs to become the government in Honduras in particular. I don’t know the story of how the gangs became so powerful on-the-ground in El Salvador. But once you are somewhere, you can only go forward from where you actually are.

    The only solution for Honduras would be a literal factual actual physical extermination program against every drug-and-gang-touched member of the Honduran government, every supporter and beneficiary of that government, and every member and cadre of the gangs and the drug groups, down to the lowest level part-time associates. And all their supporters and excuse-makers too. It would require the physical extermination of anywhere from half a million to a million or so people. Enough to entirely disinfect these two societies of their gang and pro-gang elements, including the gang-backers and controllers and enablers who make up the government.

    This is a case where Stalin was exactly right. No person, no problem. No coup-government, no problem. No gangs, no problem.

    Who could carry out such a plan? Not America, certainly. America is untrustworthy and would rightly be distrusted to carry out such a plan.

    So who ” could” do it? China and Burma’s Tatmadaw working together could do what needs to be done. El Salvador and Honduras could be turned into temporary Chinese protectorates ” for the duration of the disinfection campaign”. The Tatmadaw could be promised a total amnesty for its criminal self in return to agreeing to be transported to El Salvador and Honduras to exterminate every bad actor which requires being exterminated, all half-a-million to a million of them. Once the extermination program was complete, the Tatmadaws could go into retirement somewhere. And the PLA could go back to China.

    Am I being satirical? I suppose. It is literally true that it is the only approach which will work at this point. And it is literally true that it will never be tried.

    Therefor, it is literally true that emigration from Central America will only increase, never decrease ever again.

  9. Felix_47

    I spent five years working with the poor in Honduras. That was 30 years ago. The biggest problem was the women. The men did not support them. They would beat and often kill them if they found birth control pills on the assumption they were sleeping around. We wanted to do tubal ligations which the women wanted for that reason but we were blocked. The men like it just as it is. They have babies with the wives and the multiple girlfriends and spend their cash on liquor and partying. As a result the women were inundated with children, now adult I guess with broods of their own. There was not enough land to feed them all. Every time you divide a plot eight times each new family gets one eighth. Even then their only option was to come to the US. Femicide is a big issue there and has been for decades. Biden’s plan we have heard hundreds of times everywhere in the third world. We do not do development well. There is no reason to think we learned anything since. Now in LA my kids just graduated from the LA schools. Their classmates were 70 percent Mexican or Central American and most recently arrived. Practically speaking there is no border. We need to acknowledge reality which is that the people of Central America and Mexico are the population future of the US. The notion of a white society in North America is not realistic or reality. It might have been in 1960 but the US is now a very different country. No politician wants to have a border….if they did they would enforce E verify and eliminate birth citizenship. Both of these are third rails no politician will touch. What I would like to see is integration of these countries into the US. Language is not a barrier. A large proportion of the people in LA do not speak English. Culture is not a barrier because the predominant culture in the US is consumption. If integrated into the US at least we could try to develop these countries, that have resources and climate, and improve life for all. Imagine the prosperity if we could extend the 5 Freeway to Cabo San Lucas if it were part of the US. We are spending 20,000 per year per pupil on schooling in the US and we should benefit as a society from that investment. If integrated the UAW and ILGWU could organize the factories in Mexico. The Farmworkers could organize the banana pickers in Honduras. North American would have ample labor as well as ample population growth to build a stronger consumer economy. To even have workers the Mexican oligarchs would have to raise pay to US levels. Right now they sell tomatos to the US at US prices and pay slave wages. Car factories owned by GM Ford and Toyota and Audi pay their workers 2 dollars per hour and sell the cars full price in the USA: Oure unions can do nothing about it. Why would I pay a US worker, perhaps a newly arrived Mexican, US wages when I can get the same work for a tenth of the price in a factory in Mexico? We could perhaps even expand Mexico’s health care system which is good but way underfunded……which meshes with ours which is bad but way overfunded. Sooner or later this will happen. It makes too much sense. The demographics of the future US will be exactly like those south of the border. In LA they are already identical.

    1. Rod

      Culture is not a barrier because the predominant culture in the US is consumption.

      and, as you pointed out earlier–influences everything and is entwined in everything and reinforced by those who know nothing but.

      But different times require different thinking and you are doing that because you live in that reality:

      No politician wants to have a border….if they did they would enforce E verify and eliminate birth citizenship. Both of these are third rails no politician will touch.


      Now in LA my kids just graduated from the LA schools. Their classmates were 70 percent Mexican or Central American and most recently arrived.

      Anecdotally: Charlotte Mecklinburg NC Public Schools(CMS) 2020 Enrollment Demographics:
      Latino-35% Black-28% White-26% Asian-7%

      but hey, we’ve all heard how much Central American Migrants value Education–right??
      especially the free AND good kind(a)
      and who doesn’t think a robust GDP to be a good thing?

      As long as there is Law and Order to make it work.

  10. drumlin woodchuckles

    When you wrote about your time in Honduras that ” The biggest problem was the women” , did you mean to write ” The biggest problem was the men”?

    1. Felix_47

      The culture there has been dominated by men traditionally. It is a residue I guess of the conquista. Spain was deeply religious and Muslim until 1492. All of our Abramahic religions are pretty much the same with varying amounts of decorative camouflage. The number of children and the number of women a man has had seemed to be a badge of honor. Where I was, which was a fertile essentially uninhabited valley, in 1950 was settled by two men from the coast. By 1990 and my time there the valley had 11000 inhabitants with most of them related in some way to the original two men. With 11000 spread over about ten villages there was not enough land. In the 50s it was a garden of eden from what I heard. By 1990 overgrazing, cutting down of forests, overcultivation had converted it to a wasteland that was quite typical for much of the country. Once the forest cover was cut down erosion accelerated and topsoil washed away. The only long term sustenance at that time came from those who went to the USA: That was 30 years ago. The migration pressure now is orders of magnitude greater and the population has continued to grow. It can be solved with better government and funding. The poor there would gladly accept becoming part of the US. If you think the US government is corrupt and incompetent imagine how bad what they have to deal with is. The masses of people have no say in what the government does…..it exists for the ranchers and upper classes. If we truly believe our method of government is superior we need to integrate all these countries into the US. The masses trying to get to the US proves that they think that would be a good idea. The only losers would be the labor arbitrage businesses in the US and the labor abusers in Honduras, Mexico, El Salvador etc. With US laws these people could reallly prosper. One of the only reasons Cuba and Haiti were not brought into the Union was because our leaders at the time, I think it was Adams, were afraid of upsetting the French and Spanish since we were locked in conflict with England and we needed allies.

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