Public Comment

ECLECTIC RANT: Trump Crying Wolf about Migrant Caravan

Ralph E. Stone
Thursday November 01, 2018 - 01:26:00 PM

The recent caravan heading for the U.S. border is like manna from heaven for Trump and the Republican candidates for Congress. Now they can sow fear, loathing, and lies about these poor migrants escaping poverty and terror in their countries and seeking a better life in this country. Trump provided no support for his claim that the caravan includes criminals and Middle East terrorists. In response to this fictional threat, In response to this fictional threat, Trump plans to send 800 troops to the U.S.-Mexico border ahead of the caravan in an attempt to rally Republican midterm voters — an “October surprise.” 

These caravans of migrants are nothing new; they are an annual event, going back as far back as 2010. Their primary reason for traveling together is to avoid some of the dangers faced by travelers taking the often perilous route through Mexico to the southern border of the U.S. Of course, a small number will probably reach the U.S. but the large majority of those in the caravan will try to stay in Mexico.  

By threatening to close the U.S. border, Trump is crying wolf. There is no evidence of an imminent influx of asylum seekers. In fact, border crossings have plummeted in the last decade and are at the lowest level since 1971. An April 2018 report by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency said the number of unaccompanied migrant children detained along the Mexican border was down 24% from the previous year and the number of detained families dropped 32%. 

In sum, Trump is trying to create a crisis where there is none as a cynical ploy to appeal to the prejudices of likely midterm voters.