Dear Donald Trump: Migrants with Children Aren't 'Stone Cold Criminals'
Are you really that paranoid?
When you're a parent, you want what's best for your family. If there's a better opportunity elsewhere for you and your family to thrive, odds are pretty good that you will do what you can to take advantage of that opportunity.
You generally want to avoid situations where you might have tear gas thrown at you, for instance, or where you might be so desperate for said opportunities that you end up impaled on a fence as you try your hardest to get to where you need to be.
While I am most definitely not a part of the migrant caravan that has been making its way towards the United States from South America for weeks, I am a parent. I can't attest to the types of people that are a part of the caravan that seems to have so worried United States President Donald Trump, as investigations are not part of my usual day job, but it would seem to me that such a large group looking to migrate to the United States wouldn't be trying to attract a great deal of attention if they were looking to undertake criminal activity.
When Trump tweeted that "many" of the migrants in the caravan were "stone cold criminals," I found myself questioning how he would come to that conclusion. Has there been any sort of intelligence offered to indicate that these migrants, who have been traveling for months at this point, are some sort of criminal threat? Has there been any evidence that anyone involved in the migrant caravan has a criminal background?
From what the news media has reported, no. Given what the news reports is frequently what the public has to go on, in addition to any information that might be available from reliable agencies online, that is pretty much all we can go on, unless Trump decides to offer us tangible evidence that the migrants that have been faced with tear gas and threats of violence are indeed a danger to the United States or to North America as a whole.
To be sure, it would not be above those with evil intent to use children to gain sympathy, but that does not appear to be the case here. In reality, there would come a time that even the hardest of criminals might realize that a child is doing little more than weighing down their movements and preventing any sort of efficient or effective escape into the United States—their ultimate goal—and eventually hand off the child somewhere to someone.
This does not appear to be the case here. Several photos have cropped up online of men and women alike either carrying small children or holding their hands while they continue on their resolute trek. The children don't appear to be afraid; rather, they seem confused as to why they are being fired upon and whether the child is hanging on to their parent out of desperation or the other way around remains to be seen. For all intents and purposes, the members of this migrant caravan do very much appear to be wanting to seek asylum in order to build better lives for themselves and for their families.
Also, one of the main standoff points appears to be San Ysidro Port Of Entry, which has been a legal point of entry for migrants. Another is El Chaparral, and at both points, migrants were greeted with tear gas and threats of violence. The Port of Entry at San Ysidro has been closed in both directions in order to prevent migrants from crossing, per the New York Times, and Mexico deported at least 100 migrants who stormed the border, according to BBC.
Why was President Trump seemingly so unwilling to resolve this crisis calmly and rationally? He's known about this for months; the press that he apparently so abhors has made it widely known that this migrant caravan left in late March, and it is now eight months later.
Was tear gas and deportations really the only answer?
Welcome to America.