Opinion: Morning Examiner

Key to explaining the flood of children crossing the border -- Things that don't just happen, didn't

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Mark Tapscott,Morning Examiner,Immigration,Mexico,Drug Cartels,Honduras,Latin America,El Salvador,Guatemala

An estimated 90,000 children are expected to cross the U.S. border from Mexico this year in a swelling flood of seemingly spontaneous illegal immigration.

The flood was sparked, according to the conventional wisdom in the federal government and the mainstream media, by widespread gang and drug cartel violence, and grinding poverty in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.

As the National Journal's Brian Resnick reported Monday, "Earlier this year, the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees surveyed 404 children from Mexico and Central America who arrived in the United States illegally, and asked a simple question: Why did you leave? The report found 'that no less than 58 percent of the 404 children interviewed were forcibly displaced' to a degree that warranted international protection, meaning that if the U.S. refused these children, it could be in breach of U.N. conventions."

Spontaneous? Really?

Resnick quotes Leslie Velez of the UN High Commission for Refugees, who says the international body first began seeing an unusual increase in asylum requests from those three countries in 2008.

Between 2008 and 2013, Velez said, such requests to countries other than the U.S., including Mexico, Belize, Costa Rica and Panama, increased more than 700 percent.

What isn't causing the flood is U.S. immigration policies, according to Velez, who told Resnick that only nine of the 404 children the commission interviewed mentioned that policy as their reason for coming across the border to America.

Things that don't just happen, didn't

But gang violence, poverty, drug cartels and unstable governments aren't found only in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.

And, while Republicans like Sen. David Vitter point to evidence of organized efforts by immigration mercenaries, the fact is coyotes have been smuggling people across the border for pay for decades.

So odds are other factors as yet unreported in any detail are at play in the growing humanitarian crisis on the border.

What about the NGOs?

Next question: What about the nongovernmental organizations that often bridge the gap between official policy and people on the ground?

Thousands of NGOs get billions of dollars in government grants to do things officials don't want to be seen doing themselves.

Could it be that an obscure, well-meaning NGO's effort to provide desperate people some way out of the carnage and poverty is behind the flood?

On today's

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Columnists/David Freddoso: Conservatives shouldn't hate soccer just because Europeans like it.

Columnists/Cal Thomas: America's enemies are emboldened when Obama hesitates to use our power.

Columnists/Jed Babbin: Iraq is broken, we can't fix it and there's no good reason to try.

Columnists/Michael Barone: Are the two political parties about to crack up?

Beltway Confidential/T. Becket Adams: Voxsplaining the IRS scandal.

Beltway Confidential/Sean Higgins: Only a fourth of Illinois home day care providers chose SEIU.

Beltway Confidential/Philip Klein: Bad poll for Obama is even worse for liberalism.

PennAve/Zack Colman: Colorado's Mark Udall voted against Keystone XL pipeline.

Legal Newsline/Bryan Cohen: Retailers to provide pricing info to online supermarkets.

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NBC News: Iraq requests U.S. airstrikes to break ISIS morale.

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Washington Free Beacon: Arms control pact sought as Beijing, Moscow secretly build space weapons.

The American Thinker: Imagining the world without America.

National Review Online: The Oklahoma Common Core Four.

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The Federalist: Beware of materialism when everything is amazing and nobody is happy.

Lefty Playbook

The Huffington Post: Rupert Murdoch says immigration reform can't wait.

The Daily Beast: Was Hillary right about Iraq all along?

Daily Intelligencer: Fox's Megyn Kelly drills Dick Cheney on Iraq.

Bonus must-read

Mother Jones: The second amendment doesn't say what you think it does.

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American Power: Kurdish women guard against ISIS.

Powerline: Just because ... the second amendment.

Blue Collar Perspective: Jail has a wonderful way of sharpening the memory banks.

Blog Left

Talking Points Memo: Redskins trademark decision doesn't mean what you think it does.

Democratic Strategist: GOP rebranding project is so, so 2013.

Eschaton: Morning thread on the Halifax Examiner.

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