Weaponized Migration And Its Implications For Investors

Savvy investors are aware that geopolitical tensions and uncertainty can significantly influence the financial markets. That includes human migration—or, to be more specific, weaponized migration.

Many of you, no doubt, watched Elon Musk’s livestream of the historic U.S.-Mexico border crisis last month on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. You may also be aware of the situation that’s unfolding in the Mediterranean, with thousands of refugees from Northern Africa overwhelming Italy, prompting much-needed immigration reform.

Both cases have raised questions about who’s behind this global immigration surge.

The tactic of using migrants as pawns is not new. Since at least the 1950s, bad actors have employed this strategy against liberal democracies like the U.S. and Europe, which historically have tended to accept large numbers of refugees, according to Kelly Greenhill, author of the 2016 book Weapons of Mass Migration: Forced Displacement, Coercion and Foreign Policy.

Back to the U.S.-Mexico border. In August, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reported a 36% increase in migrant encounters compared to July, totaling over 180,000 apprehensions. And last month, a staggering 50,000 migrants from crisis-stricken Venezuela illegally crossed the border, marking an all-time monthly record.

record number

The driving force? Beyond immediate socio-economic and political crises, deeper geopolitical manipulations may be at play.

The Mexican government, for instance, has initiated a program to bus immigrants from the southern part of Mexico toward the U.S. Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador recently stated that around 10,000 people were reaching the border every day.