Thursday, April 5, 2018

Caravan? What Caravan?


The following article appeared in Powerline on April 4th

By John Hinderaker

As everyone knows, a “caravan” of more than 1,000 Hondurans is making its way North through Mexico toward the United States. This caravan had sought, and drawn, a great deal of publicity before President Trump began talking about it. He tweeted:

Honduras, Mexico and many other countries that the U.S. is very generous to, sends many of their people to our country through our WEAK IMMIGRATION POLICIES. Caravans are heading here. Must pass tough laws and build the WALL. Democrats allow open borders, drugs and crime!



And:

The big Caravan of People from Honduras, now coming across Mexico and heading to our “Weak Laws” Border, had better be stopped before it gets there. Cash cow NAFTA is in play, as is foreign aid to Honduras and the countries that allow this to happen. Congress MUST ACT NOW!

Weirdly, the liberal media pretended to have no idea what the President was talking about. Politifact purported to fact-check “Trump’s fresh statement that ‘caravans’ are coming our way, presumably from south of the Texas-Mexico border.” But the only question there is the plural; there is no doubt that a Honduran caravan is on its way.

Which Politifact eventually gets around to admitting, after some faux confusion.

CNN reported April 1, 2018: “Trump appears to be referring to a migrant caravan assembled by the group Pueblo Sin Fronteras (People without Borders), which was discussed on Fox News’ ‘Fox & Friends’ shortly before he published his tweet. It’s not known if the President watched the specific segment, but he indirectly referenced claims mentioned in an on-air interview with a Border Patrol union representative.”

Similarly, a news story in The Washington Post pointed to the described caravan as the likely basis of Trump’s concern.

Politifact finally concedes that what Trump said was true, but inconsistent with Democratic Party narratives. (That’s my paraphrase.):

Our ruling

President Trump tweeted that caravans of immigrants are coming to the Mexico-U.S. border.

We confirmed that a caravan of 1,200 to 1,500 people from Central America–not caravans–was in southern Mexico, about 900 miles from the Rio Grande, when Trump tweeted. Also, accounts vary on whether all participants are bound to enter the U.S. An organizer estimated that most of the people intend to remain in Mexico.

On balance, we rate this claim Half True.

Politifact linked to the Associated Press’s similarly angst-ridden “fact check.” The AP writes:

THE FACTS: Trump is painting an overly ominous picture of the procession of some 1,100 migrants, many from Honduras, who have been marching in a caravan along roadsides and train tracks in the southern Mexico state of Oaxaca. They are not marching en masse to the U.S. border to sneak in.


These “Stations of the Cross” migrant caravans have been held in southern Mexico for at least the last five years. They began as short processions of migrants, some dressed in biblical garb and carrying crosses, as an Easter-season protest against the kidnappings, extortion, beatings and killings suffered by many Central American migrants as they cross Mexico.

The organized portions of the caravans usually don’t proceed much farther north than the Gulf coast state of Veracruz; migrants as individuals or in smaller groups often take buses or trucks from there to the border.

The current march is scheduled to wind up this month with a conference on migration issues in the central Mexican state of Puebla, east of Mexico City. That’s some 650 miles by road (1,050 km) from the U.S. Migrants who break away and reach the U.S. border often turn themselves in and request asylum.

In other words: Trump is crazy to think that these people are coming to the U.S.

Oddly, neither the AP nor Politifact shows any sign of having read the press release issued by the caravan’s leaders, which explains what it is all about. The caravan’s leaders make “demands” on “our Central American countries” and “Mexico and the United States.” These Central Americans can make demands on their own governments, for whatever good that may do. But what standing do they have to make demands on the United States or Mexico? None.

These are the “caravan’s” demands:

We demand of Mexico and the United States:

* That they respect our rights as refugees and our right to dignified work to be able to support our families

* That they open the borders to us because we are as much citizens as the people of the countries where we are and/or travel

There you have it. These leftists demand open borders because as Hondurans, they are just as much citizens of the U.S. as we are. This is simply a false statement of fact. But it nevertheless represents a political agenda. These would-be migrants and their supporters in the U.S.–who, unfortunately, are plentiful–don’t believe in sovereignty. They don’t believe in borders. They don’t believe in citizenship. They don’t believe in countries. Most particularly, they don’t believe in ours, notwithstanding the fact that some of them, at least, want to come here.

So the caravan represents a direct, if symbolic, challenge to our sovereignty and our right to govern ourselves as a free people. President Trump understands this, while Politifact and the Associated Press do not. Or, perhaps, they do understand but pretend not to.

In a press conference today, President Trump vowed to send troops to the Southern border, if necessary. Apparently U.S. immigration law is so lame that any of the caravaners who make it to the U.S. as part of a family, and ask for refugee status, must be admitted–and probably lost forever–into the interior of the country. There, they will join millions of other illegal immigrants, living mostly in “sanctuary” cities or states, likely subject to meaningless deportation orders. The Democrats and their press minions see nothing problematic about this. But the rest of us do.


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