We Can Do Better on Migration, and it Starts With Decriminalizing it

Maria Eva Dorigo
Published: 08/01/2021

When I heard President Biden talking about finding out the root causes of migration I felt hopeful. However, after learning that the first measure the US is taking is sending the US. military to the borders (Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico) to “contain” migrants, I quickly became disillusioned.

There are many root causes for people to migrate. People are fleeing violence, poverty and environmental disasters. US Foreign policy plays a huge part in this. US foreign policy towards Latin America historically has supported military governments which tortured and killed “leftists” dissidents since the 70s. US military even trained Latin American military in counter terrorism tactics. Thousands of people are still “missing”, towns were decimated. Therefore, the US first has to acknowledge this and apologize to the people of those countries. Then, it has to repair the damage, which is not easy because the democracies in some of those countries are weak and politicians corrupt.

Also, the U.S. has to treat migrants as refugees, understanding that the only way that families stop coming to the US is that there are good conditions in their countries to stay. No one wants to leave everything behind and do one of the most dangerous trips with their children knowing that they can even lose their lives in the attempt. No one. We are replacing metal border walls with “military” walls but now we will be going to their own countries to trap people inside. Listening to Vice-President Harris saying “Do not come, do not come” made me enraged. We can do better and the first step is to stop criminalizing migration.

Topics: ImmigrationJoe BidenKamala HarrisForeign Policy