In the tragic deaths of ten migrants found crammed into a sweltering 18-wheeler outside a San Antonio Walmart, there’s more blame to go around than can be written about in a 600-word opinion column. But let’s start with the most culpable, the Washington, D.C. and Mexican governments.
For decades, Congress has ignored the dangers that open borders represent to illegal immigrants and to American sovereignty. The D.C. powerful have winked at illegal border crossings, and defended it by saying that to criticize migrants for coming north for a better life is un-American. And the same political elite have excused Mexico’s passivity toward border enforcement. Mexico is, they claim, one of the United States’ best friends.
But the elites are wrong on both counts. Secure borders and meaningful interior enforcement would have deterred the dozens of smuggled illegal immigrants from boarding the truck because they wouldn’t have been allowed to get past border patrol agents. And if they did, they’d be swiftly removed from the interior. Instead, the un-air conditioned rig – essentially an oven – inexplicably cleared the Laredo, Texas, checkpoint; ten died, and dozens have been hospitalized for heat stroke. On the day authorities discovered the bodies, the San Antonio temperature reached 110, and didn’t dip below 90 until late evening.
Over the years, Congress’ indifference to illegal immigration has sent the message to Mexican coyotes that smuggling’s lucrative rewards outweigh the few risks. It’s reported that between 14,500 and 17,500 people are trafficked into the U.S. each year, making it the third largest international crime industry behind illegal drugs and arms trafficking. Globally, human trafficking generates an estimated profit of $32 billion annually.
San Antonio is a sanctuary city, another enticement smugglers can use to lure clients. From illegal aliens’ perspective, being trafficked into a sanctuary city is as good as it gets. Sanctuary cities violate federal law, yet Congress allows them to flourish.
Illegal immigration advocates often refer to Mexico as a close U.S. ally. But facts on the ground belie their claim. Mexican officials have vulgarly derided President Trump. Former Mexican President Vicente Fox, virulently anti-American, infamously dropped an F-bomb at candidate Trump’s suggestion that, if elected, he would build a “great wall.” Fox also colluded with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to defeat Trump when the two met at the Mexico City airport six months before the election.
In recent years, Mexico has played a central role in overturning California voters’ passage of Proposition 187 that would have limited some affirmative benefits to illegal immigrants, has promoted its meaningless matricula consular identification card, and issues temporary transit passes to Central Americans that allow them to travel through Mexico, thus facilitating their illegal arrival in the U.S. The Mexican military has on several occasions entered the U.S. to interfere with border patrol agents in the course of their duties.
Mexico has more than 50 U.S. consular offices, four-times as many as the next most represented nation. Normally, consular offices help their foreign nationals who have lost their passports, run afoul of the law, or need emergency assistance. But Mexico has used its influence to lobby for the DREAM Act, and to promote amnesty legislation on behalf of its illegally present nationals – in other words, Mexico’s objective is to meddle in federal immigration law.
Make no mistake. With enforcement and more skepticism toward Mexico’s pro-illegal immigration agenda, the San Antonio tragedy might not have happened. Instead, ten are dead, and little will be done to avert future calamities.