From a coastal elite venture capitalist friend on Facebook:
When these 5,000+ migrants inevitably arrive at the US / Mexico border and begin to force their way across, what if we rallied 10,000 Americans who value refugees to stand peacefully at the border between them and whichever armed military division Trump brings out to stop them, as an act of civil disobedience?
His virtuous friends cheer him on:
Count me in if you organize people/dates/locations. Or if you need a $$ contribution to help make it work.
I highly recommend supporting Al Otro Lado. They helped with previous refugee caravans and do exactly this work fighting for the right to seek asylum. They particularly fight border patrol at the Tijuana crossing refusing to let people even present themselves for asylum. … Basically, the administration is trying to eliminate asylum entirely.
I gave my standard reply
The good news for these able-bodied ambulatory folks is that they are entitled to free housing, free food, free health care, and a free smartphone as soon as they arrive (“The Contracting States shall accord to refugees lawfully staying in their territory the same treatment with respect to public relief and assistance as is accorded to their nationals” — Article 23 of the UN Convention and Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees). But how is it fair to those who are too sick, too old, or too disabled to make the trip? If we are truly good-hearted, shouldn’t we put an Airbus A380 on the Honduras/Boston route to bring in 1,000 elderly wheelchair-bound refugees daily? Surely folks in Massachusetts will do a better job caring for these unfortunate souls than will the cold-hearted Trump voters of Texas.
The elite post-gooder (not really a “do-gooder” since he hasn’t done anything to help the migrants yet):
in my opinion it’s only their human right to be able to enter when someone here does have housing or work to offer them.
Your notion of rights of refuge conditional on “work to offer them” is at odds with the UN convention to which the U.S. is a signatory. There is no requirement for a refugee to work, any more than there is a requirement for a native-born American to work. And if you want to make this conditional on housing, then you would accept no immigrants at all. The U.S. needs 7.2 million more apartments and houses just for the lower-income residents who are already here. See https://nlihc.org/press/releases/9493
there’s tremendous demand for labor and plenty of housing availability if you just look beyond major metro areas. Why else do you think they all want to come here? No one really becomes happy by living on welfare or in shelters for long. People generally want pride of providing for themselves. And this is where there are plentiful jobs, especially if we get rid of the misguided minimum wage laws.
I pointed out that, regardless of wanting “pride of providing for themselves,” roughly 73 percent of immigrants from the countries that are contributing to the current caravan actually were collecting welfare in 2012 (source). Also that there does not seem to be a tremendous demand for unskilled since states raising minimum wage results in a reduced number of employed low-skill workers (2015 economic study).
I don’t understand your last point at all. Of course increasing the minimum wage drops employment levels, that’s basic economics. I personally want to see a repeal or at least a major rollback of minimum wage laws, less welfare, and more immigration which will keep wages low, and therefore further decrease the cost of locally produced goods and services and make their local consumers better off. I also generally want to see lower wages in the US and higher wages in places like Honduras. That would make the world better in my opinion and would ultimately reduce the need for caravans. More open borders is consistent with more free markets, in addition to being more just. I do however see the short term dilemma this philosophy poses for democracy. The ultimate answer is less power in the nation, more at the very local level, and also more at the world level, but this is a very long term ambition.
So the Bostonian’s plan for helping Hondurans requires only that the 50+ million Americans currently on welfare (Census 2015) make a huge financial sacrifice and also that blue collar workers in the Midwest accept reduced wages.
It is tough to understand why a blue collar Midwestern might be skeptical of the coastal elite’s commitment to his or her interests… Full post, including comments