Asylum regulations were created to protect refugees.
Refugees does not mean anyone who wants to make more money. It means people fleeing political and religious persecution. Jews fleeing Nazi Germany (who were barred by the Democrats from entering the United States) or political dissidents fleeing the Soviet Union are examples.
Over the years, we tended to provide the benefit of the doubt to people leaving totalitarian regimes, usually Marxist, in Latin America.
Guatemala’s current president is Jimmy Morales who is, overall, a fairly good guy. Lefties may disagree, but Guatemala is not rounding up and shooting people over their political and religious beliefs. (Morales is a conservative evangelical Christian.)
Guatemalan illegals showing up in huge numbers here are not refugees, they’re coffee refugees.
They’re invading America because coffee prices are falling.
From his wooden hut in the foothills of the Sierra Madre, Rodrigo Carrillo can see the product of his life savings: A vast green sea of coffee plants, sprouting red berries like tiny Christmas ornaments.
Those plants once seemed a life-changing investment. Carrillo joined a cooperative that sells beans to Starbucks and several certified fair-trade organizations. In Guatemala’s fertile highlands, there was no faster way out of poverty than to supply American coffee drinkers.
But in recent years, the price of coffee has crashed, leaving Carrillo, 48, with a choice to make.
Last month, he pulled out a wrinkled map of the U.S.-Mexico border and pointed to the spot on the edge of Arizona where he plans to cross with his 5-year-old son.
“I’m leaving in 11 days,” he said. “There’s no money in coffee anymore.”
I’ll spare you all the sob stories.
A drop in the price of coffee does not make you a refugee. It’s economic migration fueled by people who think there’s more money to be made here.
And they’re right.
There’s a legal process for emigrating to America for economic reasons. That process does not involve a map, an asylum claim and an overloaded border patrol forced to release these illegal invaders into our country.
Guatemala is now the single largest source of migrants attempting to enter the United States — more than 211,000 were apprehended at the Southwest border in the eight months from October to May. Here in western Guatemala, one of the biggest factors in that surge is the falling price of coffee, from $2.20 per pound in 2015 to a low this year of 86 cents — about a 60 percent drop. Since 2017, most farmers have been operating at a loss, even as many sell their beans to some of the world’s best-known specialty-coffee brands.
And if it’s not coffee, it’s some other commodity or industry in a volatile part of the world.
It’s why we need a wall and an end to processing asylum claims at the border.
Carrillo said he has lived illegally in the United States — he worked construction in South Carolina from 2002 to 2012. He returned to Hoja Blanca voluntarily and invested his $3,000 in savings in 60 acres of land. He spent money on fertilizer and fumigation to improve production. He got married. He had two children.
“The plan was never to go back to the United States,” he said. “We didn’t think there was a need.”
In 2012, when the market price of coffee was $2 per pound, Carrillo made a nice profit. But by 2017, when Brazilian production surged unexpectedly, the price had fallen to $1.20.
This is the actual situation.
We have illegal aliens moving back and forth between their countries and America, funneling money from here to there, and moving back and forth depending on where there’s more money to be made at any given time.
These people are not refugees. They’re abusing our system. And everyone who rejects enforcing the law, ending asylum abuse and building a wall is the problem.
Now it’s Carrillo’s turn to migrate. He’s planning to claim asylum. He has picked out a black tie for his son to wear when they turn themselves in to the U.S. Border Patrol. He’ll wear a new yellow backpack that says “America.”
He paid $500 to a Mexican official for a Mexican identification card with his name and photo on it. He’ll use it to transit through Mexico by bus, he said. When he nears the Arizona border, he said, he’ll pay a smuggler roughly $2,000 to get him across.
If we don’t end the ability of illegals to cross the border and stop processing their claims, this will only get worse.
America cannot have its future held hostage to fluctuations in the price of coffee.