Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405

Facebook: Digby Parton

@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)

thedigbyblog at gmail
satniteflix at gmail
publius.gaius at gmail
tpostsully at gmail
Spockosbrain at gmail
Richardein at me.com


Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic

Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 January 2016 February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016 June 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2018 February 2018 March 2018 April 2018 May 2018 June 2018 July 2018 August 2018 September 2018 October 2018 November 2018 December 2018 January 2019 February 2019 March 2019 April 2019 May 2019 June 2019 July 2019 August 2019 September 2019 October 2019


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?


Wednesday, June 26, 2019


Small hands, smaller world view

by Tom Sullivan

Asylum seekers arrive in Tijuana, Mexico (2018). Photo by Daniel Arauz via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

A father and daughter drowned June 23 trying to cross the Rio Grande into Texas from Mexico. Oscar Alberto Martínez and his two-year-old daughter Valeria made it across safely when he turned back to help his wife cross. Seeing him leave, Valeria jumped in after him. Martínez was able to reach her and put her inside his tee shirt to stay together, but the current swept away both to their deaths. They were found later face-down in shallow water, the girl's arm still wrapped around her father's neck.

The Salvadoran family had been unable to present themselves as asylum seekers at the U.S. border. The AP photo of their bodies, taken Monday, evokes the image of the three-year-old Syrian boy found washed up on the beach on the Greek island of Kos in 2015. Alan Kurdi's attempt to flee Syrian violence with his family similarly ended in tragedy. They were hoping to reach Canada.

The Trump administration portrays refugees from Central America as criminals or economic migrants ineligible even to request asylum, much less win it. Its treatment of separated children held in appalling conditions in, essentially, concentration camps erected along the border testify to the cruelty of Trump's myopic ethno-nationalism. But more regional forces are at work in driving people north from their homes. Migrants in the Americas are headed south as well.

A report from the Center for American Progress portrays the migrant flow as part of a hemispheric problem. The problem, Greg Sargent summarizes in the Washington Post, is much bigger than than the one at the U.S. southern border.

CAP reports "the movement of displaced persons within South America vastly exceeds northbound migration from Mexico and Central America toward the United States." Over 1.3 million Venezuelan nationals have fled their homeland for Columbia, Peru, Argentina and Brazil. Once prosperous Venezuela's economy is in collapse, making it "the No. 1 country of origin for those claiming asylum in the U.S." In spite of branding the government of Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro an oppressive dictatorship, Trump has increased deportations of Venzuelans.

Branding asylum seekers economic migrants fleeing local violence is oversimplified. They are fleeing deprivation.

"In the Northern Triangle—and in Guatemala especially—drought and crop disease have created an epidemic of hunger in communities that were already living at or near subsistence levels," CAP finds. Climate change is disrupting regional agricultural patterns that once sustained many communities. "Drought and irregular rainfall—have increased food insecurity and devastated livelihoods across the region." In the Caribbean Basin, Trump's efforts to punish Cuba's economy combined with more damaging hurricane seasons threaten to restart the flow of “boat people” to U.S. shores.

Sargent writes:

Those conditions could get worse. As the report notes, it’s plausible that future events — further political deterioration in Venezuela, a major climate disaster in Central America — could “significantly exacerbate migration dynamics in the Americas.”

This is a crucial point: It underscores the folly of imagining that tweaking a few laws, or making it harder to apply for asylum, or ramping up the cruelty, or building walls is enough to make a difference. The long-term challenges demand much more from us.
The Trump administration's sticks-only approach adding to the humanitarian crisis on the border with Mexico is not only cruel, cost-ineffective, and failing. It is woefully inadequate to the task of preparing for and ameliorating what could become a hemisphere-wide and global crisis the acting president's head-in-the-sandbox nationalism will not solve. Failing to assist neighbors to the south in addressing the drivers of migration is not American leadership, but retreat from it. The result will be greater instability across the hemisphere. And we already have more instability than we can manage sitting in the Oval Office.