Border Patrol agents working in San Diego say they’ve seen an uptick in families crossing the border since the arrival of the migrant caravan from Honduras. From the Associated Press:
U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Tuesday that the San Diego sector has experienced a “slight uptick” in families entering the U.S. illegally and turning themselves in to agents since the caravan of Central American migrants arrived in Tijuana two weeks ago…
On a typical day before the caravan arrived in Tijuana, U.S. border patrol agents in the San Diego area detained about 120 or so people trying to cross the border illegally from Mexico…
Rachel Rivera, 19, told The Associated Press that Honduras had become unlivable. Moments before flattening herself under the fence, she said she was slipping through to the U.S. in an attempt to “give a better life” to her daughter Charlot…
Margarita Lopez, a migrant from Honduras, said she would definitely jump the fence to the U.S. if she got the chance. But in the meantime, Lopez stood in line Tuesday to request a humanitarian visa from Mexican officials that would allow her to live and work in Mexico for a year.
And it’s not just in the Tijuana/San Diego area. CBP released this video from Arizona showing children being dropped over the fence by a man believed to be a smuggler. The smuggler remained on the Mexican side of the border. The family was picked up by border patrol agents:
#CBP #YumaSector camera operators observe two small children being dropped off an 18 foot wall by a suspected smuggler near San Luis, Arizona. One child received an injury to the face. #SouthwestBorder #NationalSecurity Details: https://t.co/r4tyZd9uzS pic.twitter.com/WwX1Wc5jlG
— CBP Arizona (@CBPArizona) December 4, 2018
Over at Vox, author Dara Lind acknowledges that Trump’s prediction of migrants crossing the border illegally is proving accurate, but she nevertheless blames the Trump administration for putting migrants in a “vice.”
President Trump and his administration spent the weeks before the midterm election warning that a “caravan” of Central American migrants was going to attempt to cross illegally into the US.
Weeks later — with the president’s attention already elsewhere — it looks like his prophecy is finally being fulfilled by at least a few caravan members. But instead of an organized and deliberate invasion, it’s a simple act of desperation from people who have waited for weeks to come legally to claim asylum and can’t afford to wait for months more…
Faced with a wait that could last until February or March — and no firm guarantee that they’ll get in at all — it’s not surprising that caravan members are taking matters into their own hands.
The caravan and its thousands of members are caught in a vise. For the past several months, the Trump administration has attempted to deter asylum seekers from crossing the US between ports of entry — even though it’s totally legal to seek asylum in the US even if you’ve crossed illegally to do it. But even as it’s done that, it‘s restricted access to ports of entry for asylum seekers seeking to come legally.
Just a couple points about this. First, Trump was right about the illegal crossings because it was obvious from the start that many of the people joining the caravan would not be eligible for asylum in the U.S. It was inevitable that this was going to happen. The “act[s] of desperation” we’re now seeing were entirely predictable, especially once the caravan crossed the border into Mexico illegally several weeks ago.
Second, if the caravan migrants are caught in a vice it is one of their own making. These people left home with nothing in hopes of an easier life in the United States. Most of them had no reason to believe they could legally enter the U.S. and were aware that President Trump was clamping down on illegal immigration. There are alternatives, such as staying in Mexico, being offered to these migrants. If they choose to decline those offers, that’s once again their choice.
Bottom line, this was always going to be exactly what it has become, thousands of economic migrants looking to enter the country legally if feasible and illegally if possible. What’s noteworthy here isn’t that Trump was right but that so much of the media was wrong.