A tale of Trump and The Migrant Caravan

A tale of Trump and The Migrant Caravan

November 8, 2018 0

The US president made news once again when he attacked a CNN reported at a press conference after the Mid term elections. The journalist, Jim Acosta, questioned the president on his statment on the Migrant Caravan, which Trump dubbed as an “Invasion” of US soil.


What is the Migrant Caravan?

A large number of migrants from Central America are trudging north towards the US-Mexico border.

They say they are fleeing persecution, poverty and violence in their home countries of Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador.

The journey poses a host of dangers, such as dehydration and criminal gangs, but many of the migrants say they feel safer travelling in numbers.

How did it start?

On 12 October, in the crime-ridden Honduran city of San Pedro Sula, a group of 160 people gathered at a bus terminal and prepared to set off on the dangerous journey.

They had been planning the trek for more than a month, in an attempt to escape unemployment and the threat of violence in their home country. By the time the group set off in the early hours of 13 October, more than 1,000 Hondurans had joined.

They have since crossed into neighbouring Guatemala and then Mexico, with thousands more people joining along the way. Those moving fastest, a group of more than 400 mainly men and boys, reached the Mexican capital, Mexico City on Sunday 4 November.

What the USA plans to do?

The USA is legally obligated to listen to cases and claims of migrants who have arrived in the US if they say they fear violence in their home countries. Those seeking asylum must be fleeing due to a serious fear of persecution. Under international law, these are considered refugees.

Even if any asylum seeker enters the US illegally, they are still entitled to a hearing, so the Trump administration can not simplyturn these people away.

But those seeking a better quality of life – even if they are fleeing devastating poverty – are not considered refugees and do not have the same protections. This makes it tricky, because the counties they are fleeing from are not technically recognized war-zones but have rampant violence in form of gang wars.

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions says the “credible fear” asylum rule has been exploited in the past, and announced in June that victims of domestic abuse and gang violence would no longer generally qualify under it.

This “Turn-back Policy” is currently subject to a lawsuit from the Southern Poverty Law Center, which accuses immigration officials of unlawfully delaying access to the asylum process.

Balach Khan
Balach Khan
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