Chanel Rion: Todd, the Biden administration seems proud of the fact that they were able to get Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala to agree to send security and military forces to their respective borders in an effort to slow down the migration surge but you say this isn’t going to help very much. How so?
Bensman: The problem is that the migrants themselves have found multitudes of ways to get past the Mexican national guard because they’re highly incentivized to do that by the rich rewards that are waiting for them now on the US border. They get in. I’ve interviewed immigrants in northern Mexico about how they did it, and they gave me five different ways that they were crossing, one of which was that the Mexicans themselves were handing out humanitarian visas like candy. And they take these visas and flash them at the roadblocks and get through. So it’s like the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. Another way is that they’re simply bribing the guard. The guard get up on the buses and say, ‘anybody who doesn’t pay gets off the bus and everybody who pays stays on.’ And another way is that they’re simply going around the road blocks, through the forest a couple hundred yards. There’s nobody protecting the flanks of these things. Another way is that they’re just taking trains, hopping on top of freight trains. The real issue here is that the Biden administration got rid of two key Trump policies: Remain in Mexico and the deportations to Guatemala. Without those two deterring policies, those migrants are incentivized the push right past the national guard, and that’s what they’re doing.
Chanel Rion: Earlier this week, we watched as Kamela Harris held a virtual teleconference with individuals she deemed experts on the migration crisis. They were NGOs, national security experts and individuals who seemed, for the most part, pro-open borders. There was no mention of the Trump administration policies that the Biden administration has undone or this correlation to the actions that we’re watching below. They seem to think the problem is with the other countries, that these other countries need to solve their issues before we can solve ours.
Bensman: Well, for one thing, I would recommend that the vice president, instead of surrounding herself with experts, surround herself with actual migrants who are doing this and actually making the decisions and why they’re making these decisions. When you talk to the migrants, they tell you that they are incentivized right now to come to the border to get the rewards that are waiting for them there.
Chanel: In the same conference, she also told America and those who are thinking of coming up to the border that help is on the way. How do you think that message will resonate with migrants still in their home countries thinking about coming north?
Bensman: People on the Democratic left underestimate the intelligence of immigrants who are making these decisions. The fact of the matter is that these immigrants are coming to the US to get access to the US economy. The nation-building proposals that are on the table right now will take 20 years – if at all. These people will be old and retired by then. They’ll have lost their lives waiting for these things to apply. What about tomorrow? What about next week? What about next month? That’s what immigrants are thinking.