Republicans & Democrats may bark and bite, but the migrant caravan moves on
Robert Bridge is an American writer and journalist. He is the author of 'Midnight in the American Empire,' How Corporations and Their Political Servants are Destroying the American Dream. @Robert_Bridge
For those of us living cozy, self-indulgent lives, complete with cappuccino mornings and cocktail sunsets, it is hard to imagine a level of economic deprivation so severe it could actually force people to pack their bags and trek thousands of miles in search of some semblance of happiness.
Yet that is exactly what is happening now as an estimated 10,000 poverty-stricken migrants, the majority from Honduras, have set off on a modern-day odyssey in the hope of reaching the ‘Promised Land,’ where potholes are filled with gold and cotton candy hangs heavy from trees. But what has made this march particularly sensational is that it is happening at the most pivotal moment as far as American politics is concerned.
Obsessed with the upcoming midterm elections, the Democrats and Republicans are piling on the emergency like a fumbled ball, trying to use the crisis to win extra points before November 6th. Such political maneuvering sees both parties occasionally flip-flopping on their platforms or twisting information for the purpose of gaining an edge.
In fact, many Americans would probably be surprised to know that under the leadership of Barack Obama, the Democrats – who have compared Trump to Hitler over his efforts to build a wall on the Mexican border – deported a whopping 2.5 million undocumented people from the United States by 2015. Equally surprising is that under the tenure of Obama’s Republican predecessor, George W. Bush, the Republicans deported just 2 million undocumented people.
And then there was Hillary Clinton. On the campaign trail in 2007, she told a rally “the federal government is supposed to set immigration policy.” That comment should have carried a footnote that reads, ‘Unless you are Donald Trump.’ In other words, in this brutal political game, the goalposts continuously shift to accommodate the changing winds.
Meanwhile, the GOP is also guilty of its own false starts. Indeed, many Republicans view the timing of this massive movement of people as more than just a coincidence, looking to borderline conspiracy theories to explain it.
I agree with President Obama 100%! pic.twitter.com/PI3aW1Zh5Q— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 23, 2018
Last week, for example, Republican lawmaker Matt Gaetz tweeted out a video that shows a long line of women, many of them holding children, accepting cash from two young men. Gaetz assumed that the video was made in Honduras, but in fact it showed the migrants somewhere in Guatemala on their way towards Mexico. Although he got the location wrong – which he later acknowledged – the video succeeds in raising far more questions than answers. Gaetz could not resist dropping the name of George Soros, the billionaire bugbear of the political right who provides funding for a long list of political and civic groups.
BREAKING: Footage in Honduras giving cash 2 women & children 2 join the caravan & storm the US border @ election time. Soros? US-backed NGOs? Time to investigate the source! pic.twitter.com/5pEByiGkkN— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) October 17, 2018
One such group that has benefited from Soros’ financial support is the non-profit organization, Skylight, which is embedded with the caravan for the stated purpose of filming the migration. In 2016, the group received a 1 million dollar contribution by Foundation to Promote Open Society (2016 tax return, page 287, ‘Skylight Engagement Inc’). Although this does not necessarily prove anything untold is happening, Skylight’s presence in the caravan has raised some eyebrows among Republicans.
Open Society denies any involvement in assisting the migrants on their journey.
Video taken by our crew on the ground with the #HonduranCaravan showing thousands of migrants making their way into Mexico at the #Mexico/#Guatemala border 🇬🇹 🇲🇽 🎥 #MigrarEsUnDerecho#CaravanadeMigrantes#Skylightpic.twitter.com/fP4KgKKEvE— Skylight (@skylightpix) October 19, 2018
This is a monumental undertaking, and already the march is taking its toll. Mexican officials say 1,740 migrants have applied for asylum and “hundreds more have taken up offers of bus rides back to Honduras,” AP reported.
Whatever the case may be, Trump is urging Mexico to crackdown on the marching migrants before they reach the US border. The US leader’s uneasiness about the situation is understandable. In the event that even a fraction of the migrants reach the US border before the midterms, it would place the Republicans in a tricky predicament.
If the US National Guard, for example, is forced to push back against migrant women and children (who will certainly be sent to the front of the receiving line for maximum visuals) it may spell disaster for the Republicans in the midterms. Such stark images will conjure up memories of Trump’s failed ‘zero tolerance’ immigration policy that separated children from their parents at the border, as well as the misconception that Trump is somehow a ‘racist’ for wanting to build a wall on the Mexican border.
Now two days in a row. Happening all over again. pic.twitter.com/r1RYRnbF0n— Mark Copelovitch (@mcopelov) October 23, 2018
On the other hand, the image of thousands of migrants storming the US border might get Republicans off the couch and to the polls in record numbers. At the same time, other Trump supporters will be asking, yet again, why the wall Trump promised to build remains a pipe dream.
Such questions could ultimately work to the Republicans’ advantage, in that the Democrats have vigorously opposed most Republican projects to date, not least of all the border wall. Ironically, however, had the Democrats performed this simple construction task during Barack Obama’s two-term presidency, Trump, who built his campaign on the promise of protecting America’s border, would most likely never have had the rallying cry he needed to become president.
Brandon Judd of the National Border Patrol Council is right when he says on @foxandfriends that the Democrat inspired laws make it tough for us to stop people at the Border. MUST BE CHANDED, but I am bringing out the military for this National Emergency. They will be stopped!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 25, 2018
At this point, I would like to say that, as an American, it is difficult to fathom how the question of a strong border has become such a political football. The United States has a very fair system for allowing people to become naturalized citizens, and asylum seekers are accorded all the protections mandated by the law. The only requirement is that migrants follow the legal procedures for entry, and if that sounds like a radical or xenophobic idea, as many Liberals today seem to believe, then the majority of countries in the world would have to be classified as racist. Somehow the US went from being an ethnically diverse country comprised of law-abiding immigrants, to a nation that thinks it’s alright to accept law-breaking border jumpers as future citizens.
In times past, before the age of virtue-signaling, social justice warriors and PC dementia was all the rage, a group of undocumented people storming the US border would have been dealt with in the appropriate manner, and without any questions asked. Today, however, many Western governments have been infected by the globalist creed, Merkel-style, that says it is the duty of Western democracies to let oppressed migrants into their countries en masse and unmolested. Meanwhile, it is the migrants who are portrayed as heroes in the Western media, while the people who want to defend their borders are some sort of knuckle-dragging xenophobes.
In the case of the European Union, countries that fight back against the concept of loose borders, like Hungary, for example, are treated like pariah states, even suffering severe disciplinary action. The situation is so grave and arouses so many different emotions that the issue of borders actually has the power to break up the West into two camps – the nationalists on one side and the globalists on the other.
When one looks a bit deeper at the situation, the Liberal desire to accept migrants with open arms is dripping with hypocrisy – and not a little blood. After all, if the Democrats (and Republicans) really wanted to address the problem of mass migration at the root they would be out on the streets demanding that their governments cease and desist from waging war on sovereign states. That is the real reason why so many people are fleeing their homes for a new life – military aggression.
It’s a national embarrassment that a group of illegal immigrants can cross our border and receive free healthcare/benefits, while veterans that have served this country are put on a waiting list.— Ryan Fournier (@RyanAFournier) October 24, 2018
Even tiny Honduras is no stranger to such violence. This is something the Democrats should understand given former president Barack Obama and his secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s botched efforts to influence the Honduras military coup of 2009. In fact, that event, which brought to power a far-right strongman, Pepe Lobo Sosa, goes far at explaining the caravan now ascending upon the US border.
In short, if the West would simply stop pursuing war and chaos around the world, much of which is based on avarice and empire building, the question of stronger borders would no longer be an issue, and those innocent people now in the firing line of NATO armies could rest easily knowing they can build prosperous lives in their own countries.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.