As the migrant caravan of approximately 7,000 Central Americans continues the treacherous journey north towards the U.S. border, President Trump has declared our country in a state of national emergency as a ploy to instill fear into the American people about immigration.
The President took to Twitter last week to report false claims about the migrants.
“Sadly, it looks like Mexico’s Police and Military are unable to stop the Caravan heading towards the Southern Border of the United States. Criminals and unknown Middle Easterns are mixed in. I have alerted Border Control and Military that this is a National Emergency. Must change laws!”
There is zero evidence confirming these outlandish claims. The truth being that many of the migrants from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala are hoping to seek asylum in either Mexico or the U.S. on the grounds of violence and economic poverty in their home countries.
However, asylum has become increasingly difficult to achieve because of the recent changes made to its definition.
According to the New York Times, Attorney General Jeff Sessions narrowed the asylum criteria as of June this year, writing “Generally, claims by aliens pertaining to domestic violence or gang violence perpetrated by non-governmental actors will not qualify for asylum.”
This specificity will disqualify many of the Central Americans trekking north, but the travelers are in a state of desperation and can no longer stay in their home countries.
Along with those seeking asylum, some migrants are looking for jobs in order to provide better lives for their loved ones or to send money to their families back home.
Regardless of citizenship, immigrants continue to travel to the U.S. because our country is always looking for unskilled laborers that will accept measly wages.
And quite frankly, both legal and illegal immigrants are willing to settle for unsuitable pay.
“Central Americans and Mexicans have good reason to seek sanctuary. Cities across the region are routinely among the most murderous in the world. The intensity and organisation of violence is staggering: 43 of the 50 most homicidal urban centres on the planet are located in Latin America and the Caribbean,” stated The Guardian.
And according to the Council on Foreign Relations, “El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras consistently rank among the most violent countries in the world.”
Needless to say, those who have left Central America didn’t leave because they wanted to, but because they had to. Trump has emphasized repeatedly that he isn’t against immigrants coming into the country, so long as they enter legally.
However, the Central Americans whom are part of the caravan can’t risk going through the process of citizenship when their lives and safety are at stake.
The process of becoming an American citizen starts with obtaining a green card and residing in the U.S. for five years. Then, one must submit an application for naturalization that can take up to six months to process alone.
Those seeking citizenship must also attend an interview and take the English and civic tests provided.
Considering the circumstances that the caravan migrants are under, they don’t have the time or the privilege to go through this painstakingly long process when death is knocking at their door.
Don’t be fooled; to enter a country where you’re unwelcomed, unappreciated and even feared is a great sacrifice with an even greater toll.
Those of which who have traveled here—and are on their journeys right now—don’t want to live and work in a country where they receive little to no pay, are stereotyped, are misunderstood and seen as criminals.
It is done out of urgency. It is done for the sake of their families and generations to come.