Opinion | Morgan Liddick: Migrant caravan could have been avoided (column)
On Your Right
Forget the bright, shiny object: a bombing campaign whose bombs don’t explode, seemingly produced by a conspiracy between Marinus van der Lubbe’s great-grandson and Wiley E. Coyote. As nasty and un-American as it is, it’s a diversion. The real story is happening in south-central Mexico.
The “caravan” of Central Americans and others continues northward toward Mexico’s border with the United States. Various participants have promised to push through it, as they did the Guatemala-Mexico border, and claim asylum in this country based on a fear for their lives. For many this will be a lie, but they will tell it because it works.
Under U.S. laws and regulations, a claim of “asylum” must be taken seriously, no matter how implausible. The claimant is placed in temporary detention until the system’s gears grind enough to bring him or her before a judge, who sets a date years in the future for adjudication, and releases said claimant into the U.S. Approximately 4 percent of those released will return. The rest become illegal residents.
Let’s clarify this situation: It’s a misdemeanor to enter the United States without permission and a misdemeanor to remain without permission; the latter loses one the right to receive a U.S. visa for 10 years. It’s a felony to misrepresent one’s self to a federal agent or to make false claims. It’s a felony to re-enter the United States illegally after being deported. Since all these acts and more are being contemplated by thousands of members of the shuffling assault on our southern border, what we are seeing is a cavalcade of criminality, however camouflaged by the photogenic mothers and moppets sprinkled about it.
From what source does this shambling mob rise? One is the activities of Bartolo Fuentes, a Honduran leftist and anti-government crusader, and his wife Dunia Montoya, a community activist. They provided much of the movement’s early impetus and publicity. As an example, consider a recent Fuentes interview: “This is a battle,” he said, “between the government and the ones who want to fight — for the truth and for a better country that people can live in.” Because there’s no better way to fight the government of Guatemala “for a better country” than to illegally enter and reside in the United States.
Funding for the caravan is nebulous. The press has traced some financial support to humanitarian organizations, including Pueblo Sin Fronteras and the CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project. The latter includes Catholic Legal Immigration Network, the American Immigration Council, the Refugee and Immigration Center for Education and Legal Services and the American Immigration Lawyers Association, at least three of which receive funding from George Soros’ Open Society Foundation. There is also evidence of support from drug gangs, who have an obvious interest in open borders, and by Venezuela’s hard-left government, which wouldn’t mind seeing the U.S. government embarrassed and distracted.
What will happen when the “caravan” reaches the U.S. border? We should be concerned about this because there will likely be blood.
Democrats are not-so-secretly urging the mob forward and already sharpening their “children ripped from their mothers’ arms” nonsense; they hope the fact that President Trump is only following President Obama’s procedures never becomes general knowledge. From the lowliest candidate to the top of each state’s ticket, they lust to erase the border and destroy Trump’s policy because it is crucial that he be punished, no matter what damage to the country results.
The president has repeatedly vowed that border-crashing will be prevented and he has moved a small number of military assets to endangered sectors of the border. If he orders that U.S. sovereignty be protected by any means, bloodshed is almost inevitable. He has also contemplated closing U.S. ports of entry, effectively shutting off one major channel for asylum claims. If he does, and issues an executive order directing that such claims be processed only in claimants’ home countries — within his right as the chief executive — he will effectively close the border. Mexico’s very cooperative actions, including the offer to caravan members of asylum there, comes from their concerns over the grave effect such closure will have on their economy.
The tragedy is that this whole business could have been avoided if Democrats had accepted the president’s grand bargain last year: amnesty and eventual citizenship for “Dreamers” and others, plus a robust workers’ visa program, in exchange for an end to the visa “lottery,” chain migration and a border wall — the quintessential compromise immigration bill. Instead, they chose “resistance” and a negotiating strategy of “not one inch,” demanding open borders, or nothing.
Thousands of people now in Mexico and U.S. sitizens across the border are imperiled by their blindness and intransigence. Remember that on Nov. 6.
Morgan Liddick writes a regular column for the Summit Daily News.
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