Weeks ago, a migrant caravan began its journey to the United States border, containing Central Americans on the path to a better chance at life.
Now, with the caravan slowly approaching, around 4,000 migrants remain, who are still desperately marching towards their chance at the “American Dream.” The group contains natives from El Salvador, Guatemala, and numerous other Central American countries that are staring in the face of poverty and violence. Thousands have come to start a new chapter in their life, but the US is not showing signs of weakening their border control.
The news of the migrant caravan didn’t take well with President Donald Trump, who responded with a Tweet loaded with hate. In it, he referred to the migrants as “gang members,” and threatened them if they tried to cross over.
Many Gang Members and some very bad people are mixed into the Caravan heading to our Southern Border. Please go back, you will not be admitted into the United States unless you go through the legal process. This is an invasion of our Country and our Military is waiting for you!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 29, 2018
The tweet, filled with animosity, was sent out October 29, when Americans finally took major notice of the incoming caravan. Considering the fact that most of the migrants were poor, and in desperate need of protection and support, the Tweet was ill-mannered and attacked the travelers who just wanted a better life.
The border’s response to the caravan introduced militia groups to the equation, all of which were armed and ready to attack. The border patrol troops alerted Texan landowners and officials that migrants may be trespassing on their property, and advised them to take precautionary measures. Shannon McGauley, president of the Texas Minutemen, even remarked that, “They’re just laughing in our face. It’s a free-for-all in America.” Despite the dangerous precautions that Texas was making, people in Arizona began to protest the idea of a militia. The mixed responses from both border states added even more to the fear and apprehension of the caravan’s approach.
Finally, just yesterday, the Pentagon and the Department of Defense announced that they were releasing plans to deploy 5,200 troops to the border to halt the caravan members in their tracks. Although 2,100 National Guard troops were already surrounding and patrolling the border area, the Department of Defense decided that more protection was needed against the migrants. General Terrence O’Shaughnessy, commander of US Northern Command, said, “That is just the start of this operation,” during a news conference at CBP headquarters in Washington on Monday. “Border security is national security.” Trump has also repeatedly warned troops in the area about the coming caravan.
For most people following the news on the migrant caravan, there’s an impending doom that this will end badly. While the migrants may be peaceful in their intentions, the US shows no sign of backing down from the border. Is it entirely necessary to deploy troops over people that are looking for a new life? Is it as serious as to send thousands of troops when the migrant caravan is in itself trying to escape that very same violence? And this is where the problem arises. The U.S has guns. The migrants have little more than the clothes on their back. And the question becomes, what will the US do next?
Photo by Getty Images