Roughly 40 other migrants on the boat — including an infant and the sister of the survivor — drowned when the motor stalled and the boat flooded off the Florida coast.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is not sending the surviving migrant home, so he “is sending the same [worldwide] message his boss has been sending since January 20 of last year, which is: You have a good chance of getting into the U.S., so it's worth taking the risk,” said Mark Krikorian, director of the Center for Immigration Studies.
Hundreds of economic migrants — perhaps thousands — are dying in deserts, jungles, at sea, and in blizzards, as they try to reach the border welcome now offered by pro-migration Mayorkas, President Joe Biden, and their coalition of pro-migration progressives.
The migrants are dying because “the opponents of borders among the left and among libertarians are prioritizing the admission of the maximum number of immigrants over their safety,” said Krikorian. He added:
They see tragedies like this as a price they're willing to pay. Stalin said you have to break a few eggs to make an omelet, and the left and the libertarians and Mayorkas are willing to see these kinds of tragedies — even though they don't like them any more than anyone else does — if the [policy] alternative is fewer people being able to come to the United States.
“The opponents of tight enforcement need to be called out for incentivizing tragedies like this,” Krikorian said.
The Post's article described the calculated decision by the surviving migrant — Juan Estaban — and his drowned sister to participate in a conspiracy to sneak through Mayorkas's partly-open border:
[His sister] Mar?a Camila wasn't one to take risks, her brother said. Quiet but charismatic, she was studying industrial engineering and “liked to do things right.” Juan Esteban helped his grandfather, who grew corn for a living, while finishing a degree in business. Still, they longed for three things they couldn't find in Colombia: to better their lives, their safety and their mother.
The college-educated siblings flew to the Bahamas from their quiet town of Guarcari in Columbia. They took a small boat to the Western end of the island chain, according to the Post's report:
The second ship, departing from one of the westernmost isles of the Bahamas, felt riskier from the start. Despite being promised a boat that would not be overloaded, Juan Esteban said, there were at least 35 people aboard the ship. Among them: men and women from Haiti, Jamaica, the Bahamas. Only the ones from the Dominican Republic spoke Spanish. One woman carried a baby girl. The organizers did not provide life vests.
“That seemed bad to me,” Juan Esteban said, his skin darkened by days under the sun. “But I had such a desire to get to the country.”
The engine failed, and the boat foundered in rough seas, the Post reported:
About 15 people initially survived, [Estaban] said, and for a time they all held on to the overturned boat, finding it warmer to stay in the water than on the hull, where they were exposed to cold air. Two of the smugglers — both wearing life vests — were picked up by another boat, Juan Esteban's attorney said. They promised to come back but never did.
The administration is encouraging poor economic migrants to risk their lives because it will not enforce the nation's popular and effective border laws, said Krikorian. “It is not just Mayorkas who bears some responsibility here, it is also progressive and libertarian opponents of border enforcement who share responsibility for these tragedies.”
The Wall Street Journal reported on September 2021 about one death among many in the Central American jungle:
Mr. Saintime said he walked ahead to see if he could round up food for his sister, who was getting dizzy and falling behind. Later, at a migrant camp in Panama, a travel companion told him that Jenny fainted and stopped breathing. She had to be left behind, the companion said.
“I don't know how I'm going to tell my dad that my sister is dead,” said Mr. Saintime, sitting in an indigenous hamlet in Panama. He planned to continue his journey.
Despite the two Columbian migrants' deliberate, unpressured, clear-eyed decision to participate in the smuggling crime, Mayorkas is allowing the surviving migrant to live in the United States.
The Post reported, “Immigration officials decided not to detain him, allowing him to join his mother in the United States while he seeks political asylum.”
The mother is an illegal migrant living in Florida. She knew about the crime, according to a January 28 report by the Washington Post: “At some point during their voyage by sea, the siblings texted their mother to tell her they were on their way, the family's lawyer said.”
When the rescued migrant was sent to a Florida hospital, his extended family lobbied for his release into the United States, according to the Post:
“It is not fair that he is detained, with everything he went through, after experiencing the trauma of seeing people die, and enduring what he did for days, the sun, the hunger,” their cousin, Valeria Molina, said. “We are begging authorities to release him and help us find Camila.”
Naimeh Salem, Juan Esteban Montoya's attorney, said Friday that her client will likely be transferred to a detention center as soon as Monday. She said she plans to ask authorities to grant him humanitarian parole, which would allow him to be released to his mother until his case is resolved. U.S. authorities have not yet said whether he will be allowed to stay in the United States; most migrants caught at sea are returned to their country of origin or embarkation.
Any criticism of the deaths caused by Biden's loose border policies should be part of a larger debate about the civic and economic costs of migration, Krikorian said:
If all you're complaining about is human trafficking and smuggling deaths, you leave yourself open to the obvious rejoinder that “Okay, well let everybody come in and they won't have to risk their lives!”
It is the same thing when complaining about illegal immigration. For example, when people are saying “What part of illegal don't you understand?” it is perfectly logical for the other side to say, “You know, you're right! That's why it should all be legal!” … These tragedies should be part of that broader debate about immigration.
Migration moves money, and since at least 1990, the federal government has tried to extract people from poor countries so they can serve U.S. investors as cheap workers, government-aided consumers, and high-density renters in the U.S. economy.
That extraction-migration strategy has no stopping point, and it is harmful to ordinary white-collar and blue-collar Americans. It cuts their career opportunities and wages while raising their housing costs.
The strategy also curbs Americans' productivity, shrinks their political clout, and widens the regional wealth gaps between the Democrats' urban and coastal districts and the Republicans' heartland states.
Unsurprisingly, a wide variety of little-publicized polls show deep and broad opposition to labor migration and the inflow of temporary contract workers into jobs sought by young U.S. graduates.
The opposition is growing, anti-establishment, widespread, multiracial, cross-sex, non-racist, class-based, bipartisan, rational, persistent, and recognizes the solidarity that Americans owe to each other.
These 4 women tell me they are artists from Cuba. One said she walked for 2 months to get here. They say they are waiting for their flights to Florida tomorrow morning. pic.twitter.com/hq2MwzPgVJ
— Ali Bradley (@AliBradleyTV) February 1, 2022