I have been blogging about this for years – for instance, this 2012 post – but it’s nice to see someone else paying attention:
Todd Bensman writes at PJMedia on How Panama and Mexico Help Potential Terrorists Reach the U.S. Border
One might forgive developing Latin American nations, relatively new to democracy, for slow progress in achieving basic state functionalities that could disrupt or deter such U.S.-bound smuggling of Paris-like terrorists. But less forgiveness is warranted for easily reversible formal government policies, which — as I found in my Naval Postgraduate School thesis research —overtly assist SIA smuggling.
I call the policy “catch, rest, and release,” and peg it squarely on two countries that are among our closest southern allies: Panama and Mexico. Rather than detain, investigate, and deport, Panama and Mexico provide housing, food, and medical services for a couple of weeks, and then release the migrants with full legal status. They know this will enable the travelers to continue unmolested out of their own territories and towards America’s southwestern border.
That’s why “catch, rest, and release” is a third attackable fail point of the smuggling networks, right up there with Latin America’s enabling diplomatic stations inside Islamic nations and withthe multi-talented, hard-to-replace smuggling kingpins.
To understand the significance of “catch, rest, and release” to the SIA smugglers and their clients, one must grasp that migrants are paying once-in-a-lifetime fortunes to make it as far as Panama and Mexico. The mere prospect of deportation from one or both of those countries, short of the American border, portends a devastating financial loss not easily raised again for second attempts. Certainly, smugglers would have to charge more for routing adaptation that would have prospective migrant clients thinking twice about paying to attempt the new gauntlet. Therefore, in my estimation, lengthy detention and deportation from Panama and Mexico would threaten the viability of many SIA smuggling organizations.
It certainly would; however, neither Panama nor Mexico are interested in doing so.
For starters, neither country wants to deter effectively the human traffic from which thousands profit every day. Additionally, they would have to feed, house, process and transport the detainees – another expensive ordeal. And don’t forget that the White House favors an open border while not even talking of a possibility of terrorism.
So we will continue to read stories like this, “Military age men” at San Diego’s southern border. “Credible threat” posed by unknown Afghans and Pakistanis. I’ve been saying for over a decade that border security is national security; that headline is from yesterday.
Linked to by IOTWReport. Thank you!