Americans are Putting their Walls Up to the Caravan

With the process of immigration being questioned, the situation of the Migrant Caravan has been a recent focal point of conversation. The Migrant Caravan was founded by Pueblo Sin Fronteras early 2017. Families escaping the woes of their countries, to find a better life in America. These families have been framed as a threat to American society. Labels such as Terrorist and Illegal have been used interchangeably by some Americans.

There has been much debate in regards to the treatment towards the Caravan before their arrival. President Donald Trump had said that the military would be dispatched to deal with the migrants. Furthermore, if they migrants retaliated in any way, more specifically by throwing rocks, it would be considered a criminal offense. Fast Forward to their arrival, and some conflict broke out. The most notable conflict was the tear gassing of the migrants on November 26, 2018. The incident sparked outrage among Americans. The outrage stemmed from the fact that migrants legally came to seek asylum and were met with force. There have been many misconceptions about the Migrant Caravan. Although many people think that the caravan is partaking in illegal activity, what they are doing is actually legal. The way to seek asylum in America is to be physically present in the United States. You may apply for asylum status regardless of how you arrived in the United States or your current immigration status.

Activists took to social media rallying for change. U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted,

“Asking to be considered a refugee & applying for status isn’t a crime. It wasn’t for Jewish families fleeing Germany. It wasn’t for targeted families fleeing Rwanda. It wasn’t for communities fleeing war-torn Syria. And it isn’t for those fleeing violence in Central America.””

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

The main concern Americans have about the migrant caravan is safety. Overall, 29% of Americans see the migrant caravan traveling toward our border with Mexico as a major threat to the U.S., 24% see it as a minor threat, and 39% see it as no real threat to the country. When Americans were asked as to why they believe the Caravan is a threat, many pointed to the President. When Trump was asked about his view on the Migrant caravan, his response was, ”go into the middle and search. You’re gonna find MS-13, your gonna find Middle Eastern, you’re going to find everything”.  He took to Twitter where he tweeted, ”criminals and unknown Middle Easterners are mixed in [in the caravan].” In an attempt to stop the Caravan and future “invasions”, Trump has called for funding for the wall. When rejected, Trump instated a partial government shutdown, which is now reaching into its third week.