Haitian Children and the Smugglers

How does a Haitian child pass the day? For many it’s the most demanding and dangerous pastime of any childhood. They are making their way to America on an exhaustive, agonizing 7000 mile trek from Chile to Peru to Colombia to Central America to Mexico and then ultimately and hopefully to the promised land of their dreams, maybe.

Haitian immigrants arrive by boat, to begin their overland journey through the Darien Gap into Panama and on towards the United States. Photo by John Moore/Getty Images

They have been selected for this arduous trip because they are more likely to be let into the U.S. if they are alone. So a parent or some adult pays a smuggler $10,000 or more for each of them and off they go from a starting point in Chile where many Haitians now live in refuge from an unlivable Haiti. Other adults help them along the way, but it’s very hard going. Borrowed cars or dusty buses take them across the border to Peru and then to the Darien Gap between Colombia and Panama where the ordeal begins in earnest.

They must traverse a 66 mile stretch of jungle, mountains and rivers that is not meant for human habitation. By foot and canoe they make their way with dangers all around. Rivers can sweep the unprepared away. Criminals lurk in the bush ready to pounce or rape given a chance. Dead bodies are a fixture of the landscape.

It’s a relief finally to reach Mexico where a bus takes them to an easier river to cross, the Rio Grande, and their goal, the U.S border. There they join thousands of other Haitians under the international bridge at Del Rio, Texas, to await their fate in enormously crowded conditions. It’s a roll of the dice. They may be out of luck and for all their efforts deported. If they stay, they may be united with a relative, assuming there is one. An alternative is foster care or lodging in one of the U.S. resettlement homes for a period of time. 

Photo by Raul Arboleda/AFP via Getty Images

The smugglers they have paid profit immensely, especially the Mexican drug cartels who virtually control the Mexican side of the border and increasingly the American as well. They have even got in the habit of shooting across the border since they get no response. A U.S. agent remarked plaintively, “Someone is going to get hurt.”  The cartels with superior numbers are not intimidated. 

One group of human smugglers, however, is now paying a price. Suspicious of all the children crossing the border to Peru, Chilean police with the help of Interpol has broken up the organization financing the exodus, Frontera Norte, and arrested nine members. The need of Haitians and the welcoming policies of the Biden Administration are key factors in the mass migration to the U.S. But equally important, though somewhat downplayed, is the crucial role of the smugglers who, indifferent to suffering, add vastly to the numbers reaching the border.

Is the Deep State Getting Deeper

We hear a lot about the Deep State, but what exactly is it? What are its ingredients? Any names? It remains obscure, even as it’s continually invoked to explain various mishaps. It appears to be a very shadowy shadow government over which we seem to have no control. It’s not democracy in action – the opposite. 

American flag painting on high detail cracked ground . 3D illustration .

Donald Trump is noted for blaming his election loss and other troubles on the Deep State, and that has given some currency to its usage. But it has wider implications. Its seems there’s hardly an explosive event that has not been attributed to secret underlying forces that may have escaped our attention and conventional wisdom, from Pearl Harbor to the JFK assassination to 9/11 to the death of bin Laden to the collapse in Afghanistan. For all of these there are conspiratorial or shall we say, alternative theories by the dozen and growing. The deep state at work.

We have brought on this suspicion of secrecy by in fact being too secret. We now  have 17 – yes, 17 – U.S. intelligence agencies doing secret work unknown to us because revealing it, we are told, would compromise sources and methods. Yet few successes have been noted along the way. When NSA chief Keith Alexander named fifty terrorist attacks his agency had prevented, they turned out to be false. Meanwhile, all agencies, including the FBI, disregarded a mountain of clues warning of the 9/11 attack. It didn’t help that afterwards some likely conspirators were rather quickly spirited out of the country.

The result was a mountain of counter theories, unflattering to the U.S. Government as well as perhaps to the people promoting them. But the formation of a group of “Truthers” contesting the official U.S. explanation is not surprising. The deep state got deeper.

We know from renegade NSA staffer Edward Snowden and many others that secret agencies have been spying on us for dubious reasons. Despite the revelations, this effort apparently continues, though not so obviously. It doesn’t help that according to U.S. Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, the FBI continues to abuse its investigative powers. His recent report claims that in examining some 7000 applications for surveillance, he found the FBI made extensive errors that call into question the whole investigative process. Another mark against the Deep State.

At the end of the U.S. Constitutional Convention, Benjamin Franklin was asked what kind of government has emerged. He replied famously: “It’s a republic if you can keep it.” That’s the ongoing problem for the U.S., faced as it is today with the Deep State encroaching on it, perhaps enveloping it. There are ingredients beyond the intelligence  agencies – elements of a monolithic media, a big tech of new found power and the usual assortment of shadowy politicians who prefer operating in the dark. Perhaps the intelligence agencies could set a precedent by issuing an annual report on their accomplishments for the year without in any way jeopardizing their mission. The best response to the Deep State is the sunlight of transparency.

A Drug Cartel Bonanza

Apparently, the Mexican drug cartels, masters of the border, were taken unawares by the Haitian surge to the U.S. But have no fear. The cartels quickly adjusted, and it looked as if they had planned the whole event themselves.The congestion of some 15 thousand Haitians at the border town of Del Rio drew under manned U.S. Border Patrol from other ports of entry that were then open to an invasion of cartel drugs – a clear bonanza. They could only agree with American progressives: the more immigration the better.

Soldiers unload bundles of seized marijuana before incinerating the drugs at a military base in Tijuana, Mexico. Photo by wired.com

How other Americans may react to the increased fentanyl coming across the border is another matter. A record 92,183 Americans died from an overdose of drugs in 2020, largely attributable to fentanyl, deadly even in tiny bits which make them easier to smuggle. They are insidious. NBC News reports a young woman at Arizona State University who swallowed an oxycodone pill for pain that turned out to be laced with a lethal amount of fentanyl.

The Border Patrol cannot cope because there are not enough of them. Some 600 agents were moved from Laredo, Texas, upriver to Del Rio. Abandoning Laredo, the largest point of entry to Mexico, meant loss of control of the border. The cartels caught on and began furnishing buses to bring still more migrants to Del Rio.

There are long stretches of the 2000 mile border which are unprotected. One can spend a good part of the day going back and forth between the two countries without being detected. Clear sailing for the cartels who operate mainly at night. Even the projected wall, if completed, would be only a partial deterrence. There would still be significant gaps to be exploited by the cartels. 

The solution is more manpower, e.g., U.S. troops protecting this country along with all its patrons abroad. They need to have the power to enforce the law, and if cartels make trouble on the U.S. side of the border, they should be able to pursue them if necessary into Mexico.

The U.S. media is understandably sympathetic to the plight of migrants but tends to overlook a main reason for their flight – the violence around them, mostly due to the cartels. Despite the inroads made by billionaire George Soros in financing prosecutors who don’t prosecute, the U.S. remains much safer than nations to the south. The best way to make life better for their people and to stop their coming to in great waves to the U.S. is to curb the power of the cartels. Fewer drugs means less violence. This entails greater care for the addicted here whose depression is not helped by media hysteria over one thing or another. A suitable calm is prescribed which is better for everyone.