In a recent op-ed, conservative writer Erik Erickson argued that the U.S. government should support the “next Pinochets” to create more stability in Latin America and stop the flow of refugees seeking access to the United States. The remark was instantly controversial because Augusto Pinochet was a Chilean dictator who committed massive human rights abuses. But there’s another problem with his argument, too: It gets the facts exactly backward. Recent history and social science don’t show that authoritarian regimes stop people from fleeing across borders. They show that they make more people want to flee.
Sikkink, Kathryn. "Here’s What Erick Erickson Gets Wrong about Dictators and Migration." Washington Post, December 4, 2018.