A Caravans’ Fight for Change

Central American migrants on their journey to the U.S.

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Central American immigrants are doing everything they can to try and cross the border from Tijuana to the U.S. They are digging under and jumping over the fence to try and get here safely.

From sleeping in makeshift camps, to swimming across rivers, walking with hunger, and facing anger and rejection, these migrants left Guatemala City on October 18, 2018 heading together in a large caravan to the United States.

 

The caravan headed through Guatemala toward Mexican U.S.  border. The caravan started with 2,000 immigrants – children, men, and women – and a growing 7,200. These migrants walked on foot and hitchhiked to safely reach their destination. But as these individuals continued to make their way closer to the U.S. border, U.S. President Donald Trump carried on with his verbal attacks by threatening the migrants and blaming the Democratic Party for this so-called “invasion.” In one of Trump’s tweets he tried to intimidate the governments of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Mexico by threatening to suspend any type of foreign aid from the U.S. He also had National Guard troops “protect” the border, which has caused a lot of confusion since it is illegal for the National Guard to enforce domestic law.

 

The perils that awaited this migrant group have persisted, but they continue to prevail in their own way. When they crossed the river to enter El Salvador on October 18, 2018, immigrants showed their power in numbers and formed a human chain to hold onto each other and safely cross. On November 23, 2018 near the San Ysidro port of entry after being denied entry, men,women, and even children were all tear gassed and arrested. The screams and terror of these families were caught in photographs that sparked outrage.

 

News outlets continue to talk about how the caravan affects each country, but what does the caravan mean to its members? These people are walking together in large groups because it is safer for them. They aren’t invading America, they are simply applying for asylum which is not an illegal thing to do. If this were an invasion, we would be able to defend ourselves so there is no use in wasting our resources with something that could be worked out with communication as well as aid. This isn’t to say that it is going to be easy, but it should not be okay to shun and block these people off especially since this is supposed to be “the most powerful country in the world.” We are currently providing aid to other countries such as Afghanistan, Israel, and Egypt and right now we are being ignorant towards the needs of Central American countries. We should be focusing on banding together with these different nations.

 

Some may argue that these immigrants are trying to get in the easy and illegal way and that they themselves have had to go through the long and outdated immigration system, but if you yourself have been through that process; one that is agonizingly slow; it should be more of a reason for you to stand with these people and fight for a change.

 

There are no words to describe the excruciating pain there is when looking at the photographs and interviews as well as the conditions these people have had to stay under for months now. But as a country we need to unite and fight for “the liberty and justice for all.”

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