Caravan has rights


Those in the migrant caravan have walked hundreds of miles through dirt roads and scorching weather to escape low wages and organized crime. These desperate men, women and children are seeking asylum, but have received, what I feel, is an overreaction.

The caravan started in Oct. 12 in Honduras. Over the next few days, thousands of migrants joined in on the trek to the U.S. While the caravan was stopped at the Guatemalan and Mexican border, they were slowly let through to keep moving north.

caravan members are trying to escape persecution, danger and extreme poverty. Both authoritarian governments and organized crime rings can threaten the lives of the Central Americans who, as a result, are going north to save the lives of themselves and their families. Absolute poverty is also a significant issue in Central America, causing people to try and immigrate to the U.S. for higher wages.

The exact number of caravan members at its peak is unknown, but numbers anywhere from 4,000 to 7,000 has been reported. However, as the harsh journey continued, many have had to stay behind as the major group moves forward, pushing the caravan down to about 2,000.

The goal of many in the caravan is to come to the U.S. border and seek asylum. This would allow the migrants a chance to legally enter the U.S. There are two methods of seeking asylum: going to an offical border crossing and beginning the asylum process, or crossing the border illegally and pleading asylum to the border agent if caught.

From an outsider’s point of view, the migrant caravan just seems like a safe group of people trying to save their families. However to many, like conservative blogger Michelle Malki, the caravan is “a full-scale invasion by a hostile force”.

The caravan has also drew a large reaction from president Donald Trump, who took advantage of the event with the midterm elections nearing. Over 5,000 troops were sent down to the border to intercept the migrant caravan. Trump has said that the migrants are wasting their time because they will get turned back. However, the migrants do have the right to seek asylum and turning them away without letting them exercise this right would be illegal.

Trump even said that the migrants throwing rocks should be treated as shooting rifles, allowing the troops to react as such.

The migrant caravan responded to Trump’s reception, saying that they aren’t violent or killers and that Trump was responding poorly to the situation.

Former President Barack Obama even responded to Trump’s reaction with scrutiny.

“They’re telling us the single most grave threat to America is a bunch of poor, impoverished, broke, hungry refugees a thousand miles away” according to The Guardian.

This view on the situation represents how many people felt about Trump’s response, an overreaction to create fear near the midterm elections.

Trump has created unnecessary fear about these migrants who are trying to do nothing but save themselves and their families. By making it more difficult to seek asylum, Trump’s administration are turning back men, women and children who are just trying to save themselves. The migrants have the right to seek asylum and if this right should be allowed to them.