Using previous data from Hurricane Mitch to predict how much damage and how many misplaced people may need shelter will be of great use. Not only should it help the Mexican government take care of their own, but will prepare the US Boarder Patrol for an influx on possible migrants.
To determine how long the waves of migrants will continue, we must consider the destruction Hurricane Patricia will bring to Mexico’s infrastructure. Looking at such matters through a historical lens provides some insight. Hurricane Mitch, in 1998, destroyed roads vital to struggling economies in Central America. Farms were destroyed, goods could not be delivered and sold. Economic opportunities became virtually non-existent for an already poor peoples. These immigration push factors were discussed in detail by the University of Houston’s Adriana Kugler and Mutlu Yuksel in their 2006 “Effects of Low-Skilled Immigration on U.S. Native, Evidence from Hurricane Mitch.”
Armed with this information, the Border Patrol can prepare for possible years of migration from this hurricane, as well as be proactive watching for the exploitation of migrants by the Nuevo Laredo, the transnational crime organization. Agent Garza voiced these concerns about the criminal elements.
“Clearly, there exists a high likelihood for a coming wave of people at our Southwest border. History shows us that we see an increase in crossings from people devastated by natural disasters.”
“They will control where aliens can cross and by doing so they will control where Border Patrol applies resources. They will utilize other areas to get narcotics across our border. They will also find a way to exploit the aliens for long-term financial gain. They will make them into indentured servants.”