Over 7,000 migrants from Central American countries are marching through North America to enter the U.S. illegally. What has been deemed the “migrant caravan” has been used by the left to place pressure on President Donald Trump to recede from his hardline immigration stance. But Trump has not wavered, and instead, is calling upon other countries to clean up their own messes so these burdens are not placed on the U.S. at the detriment to our national security.
While the main stream media has depicted these migrant as desperate refugees seeking protection in the U.S., many do not appear to align with the definition of a refugee at all.
Under U.S. law, refugee status can be granted to those who “is unable or unwilling to return to, and is unable or unwilling to avail himself or herself of the protection of, that country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.”
Many of these migrants are not seeking protection from prosecution, they are seeking jobs. They are not seeking safety from violence by the government, they are seeking a way out of poverty. Many of these migrants are not even women and children but, in fact, working age males. They really do not qualify as refugees under federal law.
Despite the fact that Mexico has granted asylum to more than 1,000 women, children, and elderly migrants who were bussed to refugee camps within the country, caravan members broke out into violence against Mexican riot police attempted to quell the flow of people into the country.
Some on the left have called this Trump’s “racist war” on migrants, but even Mexican President Pena Nieto has said this chaos must be controlled.
President Nieto has explained, “Violent entry into the country not only threatens our sovereignty, but also puts the migrants themselves at risk. Mexico does not permit and will not permit entry into its territory in an irregular fashion, much less in a violent fashion.”
President Trump has blamed the influx of migrants in this caravan and in recent years on the catch and release policies of the Obama administration, Congress’ failure to reform immigration law has also exacerbated the problem.
A White House press release notes, “Responding to catch-and-release loopholes, illegal immigration has shifted from primarily single adults from Mexico to family units and unaccompanied minors from Central America. 98 percent of aliens apprehended by Border Patrol in FY 2000 were from Mexico, but today more than half are from Central America. These loopholes drive more and more illegal immigration from populations that the Government cannot quickly return to their home country. Smugglers and traffickers exploit these loopholes to prey on families and children who make the life-threatening journey north to our border.”
In an effort to push Mexico to solve this problem before it reaches the U.S., President Trump has reminded Nieto that preventing criminal aliens from entering the country is far more important to him than the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), a trade deal replacing NAFTA made earlier this year. Failing to solve this problem within their borders could result in icier relations between the U.S. and Mexico as this deal near ratification.
As someone who comes from an immigrant family, let me note if I was born in a country with little job opportunities, rampant crime, and the greatest country in the world a few nations to the north, I would absolutely want to do everything in my power to get there as well, just as my family did. But as that great nation, we must value our sovereignty and safety. My family came to this country for opportunity the right way and because of that we have seen the benefits of the American dream, and all immigrants should do the same. This is why President Trump has pushed for merit-based immigration reform rather than the catch and release policies that fuel these dangerous, illegal journeys through the border.
Immigration is one of the key issues that drew voters to Trump in 2016, now as that hardline stance is tested just weeks before the election, Trump must hold firm. This migrant caravan is not flooded with victims of oppression as the left wants to make it seem and it is not the responsibility of the U.S. to provide jobs to these people simply because they walk into our country and demand it. Government in countries like Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico must work to give their citizens a better life so the U.S. is not forced to reject them. It should never have come to this.