MSNBC’s Ali Velshi and Stephanie Ruhle had an interesting segment today, though I’m not sure it sent the message they were hoping to get out about the caravan. Ruhle was speaking with MSNBC’s Gadi Schwartz who was doing a live shot from Tijuana in the heart of a makeshift migrant camp. “You’re in that tent camp,” Ruhle said, “Give us the profile of who is there mostly and what are they looking for?”
Before he could answer, Ruhle suggested that maybe the migrants didn’t have information about how to cross the border and that’s why they tried to storm across over the weekend. “There could be people yesterday who were running because they thought it was their only chance,” she said.
“It’s very difficult because this has become such a polarizing issue,” Schwartz replied. He added, “The truth is that the majority of the people that are part of this caravan, especially outside if we can make our way over there we’ll show you, the majority of them are men.”
Hmmm. That didn’t seem that complicated or polarizing. It seemed like a simple fact that people on the right have been pointing out for several weeks.
“From what we’ve seen, the majority are actually men and some of these men have not articulated that need for asylum. Instead, they have talked about going to the United States for a better life and to find work,” Schwartz added. He then pointed to a food back where earlier as many as 600 men had been standing in line for food.
In other words, a lot of these people aren’t confused about how to apply for asylum because a lot of them are men who almost certainly know they aren’t eligible for asylum. None of that really fit with the frame Stephanie Ruhle was trying to put on this, i.e. they’re just confused migrants.
These people aren’t confused. They’re using the same tactics at our border that they used at the southern border of Mexico. As the agent in charge of the San Diego border pointed out earlier, “If they were truly asylum seekers, they would have just walked up with their hands up and surrendered and that did not take place.”
Here’s the clip. Immediately after this, Ali Velshi offered a long explanation of tear-gas and its relationship to the chemical weapons convention.