The US Mexico agreement to enable asylum seekers to stay in Mexico for the duration of their claims is moving forwards despite recent opposition from activists. Mexico will benefit from President Trump’s decision to allow 30,000 seasonal workers into the country. Senator Tom Cotton though critical of this decision that he says “forces Americans to compete for jobs against non-citizens who drag down wages,” recently laid out part of the new immigration system as a high-skilled merit based system designed to fill employment gaps in US labor markets. This is a smart plan that will bring urgently needed computer scientists, doctors, engineers, and other high-skilled professionals into the US and US based companies. This is an integral part of economic development that also requires the tightening of porous borders to minimize illicit trafficking threat. The senator said that triple the number of democrats from last month are now recognizing the crisis on the border.
Tightening porous borders and including immigration reform is trending globally. Upon Abu Bakr-Baghdadi’s interest in Southeast Asia, the new wing known as the Katibah Nusantara extension of ISIS recruited some 1,000 fighters in 2014 causing Asian countries to tighten border security from migrant fighters and illicit trafficking including weapons flows. “Weak border security allows for neighboring states to act as safe havens for terrorist organizations” and contributes to the “criminal industry in Southeast Asia [that] is worth upwards of US$100 billion.” In Nigeria where there are about 70% of West Africa’s illegal firearms according to a report from the UN Regional Center for Peace and Disarmament. Nigeria’s Minister of Interior, Lt Gen. (rtd) Abdulrahman Dambazau describes the crisis as a “relationship between the proliferation of small arms and light weapons, porous borders, and drug abuse on the one hand, and the escalation of terrorism, herders/farmers clashes, militancy and other violent crimes on the other hand.” The crisis in Venezuela has continued to dislodge people from their homes and jobs.
All of this chaos has been good for drug-trafficking cartels and other criminal organizations exploiting the US-Mexico border. CBP officials say caravan mixes of nationals from all regions including Asia, Africa, and Latin America are sent to some checkpoints as decoys for large trafficking operations elsewhere along miles and miles of undefended areas. Another 80 miles of wall construction is being funded with a transfer of $1.5 billion from the Pentagon approved by Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan.