Both conservatives and leftists (also known as “liberals”) have long lamented the flow of immigrants illegally entering the United States from Mexico or seeking refugee status within the United States. To combat this, statists have erected a police state in the American Southwest that consists of a broad array of totalitarian-like measures that have contributed to the destruction of liberty in America.
One of the fascinating aspects of this phenomenon, however, is that with their war on drugs, statists — both conservatives and liberals — are themselves responsible for causing aberrant flows of illegal immigrants and people seeking refugee status. That’s because their drug war in Mexico has produced so much violence that it has induced countless people to flee the country and try to enter the United States. Thus statists are, in large part, responsible for causing the very situation that they themselves lament.
This phenomenon was recently detailed in an article entitled “Mexico Does Little as Thousands Flee Violence for US Border” by Tim Seller, which appeared in the Arizona Daily Star (Tucson.com). Referring to a town named Leonard Bravo in the Mexican state of Guerrero, Seller writes:
So many people have been forced from their homes in this highland area of southern Mexico that the mayor gives a form letter to local residents who want to seek asylum in the United States. In the last 14 months, Mayor Ismael Cástulo Guzmán told me, he’s handed out around 600 of them…. In Nogales, Sonora, early this month, 40 percent of the people waiting for asylum appointments with U.S. officials were from Guerrero.
The Mexican migrants of 15 years ago were mainly motivated by economic needs, but today’s Mexican refugees, though poor in most cases, are fleeing from gunbattles and extortion, more than poverty. They want simply to return home.
Sellers points out that the U.S. State Department has issued a travel advisory to American tourists that covers the state of Guerrero, which encompasses Acapulco, a city that once was one of the principal tourist destinations in the Western Hemisphere.
In fact, in the late 1940s, my parents drove from my hometown of Laredo, Texas, to Acapulco for their honeymoon. No one in his right mind would dare to do so today. As the State Department travel advisory states: “Armed groups operate independently of the government in many areas of Guerrero. Members of these groups frequently maintain roadblocks and may use violence towards travelers.”
So, what do statists propose to do about all this drug-war violence? They propose cracking down even more in an attempt to finally “win” the war on drugs. Just a few days ago, the Washington Post carried an article entitled “Suspected Mexican Cartel Figure Handed Over to U.S. Amid Surge of Extraditions,” which details U.S. efforts to have Mexico turn drug-war suspects over to the U.S. government to be punished with incarceration in U.S. penitentiaries.
What’s that old definition of insanity? They have been busting, incarcerating, and even killing drug lords and drug cartels for decades, and the results are always the same — new drug lords and drug cartels immediately taking their place. Just watch Netflix’s “Narcos” and “Narcos: Mexico” series and you will see what I mean. All that U.S. officials accomplish with their drug busts and extraditions is a continued overfilling of America’s prisons, which places an ever-growing burden on American taxpayers.
In the meantime, their drug-war efforts just continue to make things worse for the Mexican people, who continue to flee to the United States in an attempt to save their lives from drug-war violence. Statists condemn them for doing so, even while magnifying the drug war violence with their crackdown in the war on drugs, which is causing many of them to flee to the United States.
How about this: Let’s end the drug war by legalizing all drugs, not just marijuana. That would put the drug lords and drug cartels immediately out of business because they can’t compete in a legitimate, legal market. That would immediately end all the drug war violence that has destroyed Mexico. It would restore a sense of normality to the country, which would enable American tourists to once again return to Mexico. It would also end the need for drug-war extraditions that place a bigger tax burden on the American people.
Some Mexican citizens would continue to come to the United States to better their lives. There is nothing wrong with that—that just pursuing happiness, a right that Thomas Jefferson points out in the U.S. Declaration of Independence that adheres to all people, not just Americans. The immigration flows would likely be more normal, as compared to the aberrant immigration flows caused by the U.S. government’s and the Mexico government’s drug war.
The ideal of course is a combination that includes the following: full drug legalization and open borders, i.e., free trade and open immigration. That’s the only solution that is consistent with liberty, free markets, economic principles, religious principles, moral principles, freedom of association, and harmonious relations among people.