Recently, President Trump has declared the US border laws weak. He claims that they leave the states vulnerable to unfettered immigration. However, some of his policies could worsen a Central American migrant crisis.
Trump ups his hard-line immigration rhetoric, calling on the US military to guard the border between the US and Mexico. That is until the wall is complete. However, the Department of Homeland Security says the US southern border is more difficult now more than ever to cross illegally.
The Trump administration has been working to cut down on what they say are pull factors of immigration. The pull factors being that they can live illegally in the US with impunity. However, the policies they are trying to implement could affect the push factors of immigration. If the violence and poverty in their existing communities increase, they will still migrate north out of desperation.
Deporting long-time immigrants may cause more immigration in the future
Trump’s favorite target, MS-13, began in the US before it became an international gang who changed into the enterprise it currently is because of their deportation from the US back to Central America where it could grow stronger. El Salvador complained that the United States does not warn or give enough information about gang members sent back. Because of this, they are not able to easily track or imprison them.
However, experts agree that the increased numbers of deported non-criminal immigrants are causing instability in the region. These individuals usually have roots in US communities and live peaceably while sending money back home. According to the World Bank, remittances from outside the country made up 17% of El Salvador’s GDP in 2016.
The Trump administration has terminated a group of protections for Central American immigrants based on natural disasters in their native countries. The Department of Homeland Security announced in January that over 200,000 Salvadorans who lived in the US since 2001 would no longer be covered. This change means they would have to move back or risk deportation. Nicaraguans and Hondurans may see the same fate later this year.
On Tuesday, Trump mentioned he is considering cutting off aid to countries that do not cooperate enough to his liking.
The improvement in Mexico’s economy has been helpful in stabilizing the region. They can stop and deport large numbers of Central Americans before they reach the border. Were a trade war to ensue or relations sour between countries, more immigrants from Central America would be forced northward.