I’m not afraid of a caravan of hungry, impoverished migrants making their way through Mexico right now and neither should you be.
Some important facts about these migrants: They’re currently crossing the border of Guatemala into Mexico and are nowhere near the United States border. There’s absolutely no evidence they are composed of gang members and “unknown Middle Easterners” (a loaded and problematic description itself). In fact, they originated in the Honduras when a group of some 160 people fled the city of San Pedro Sula due to outbreaks of gang violence there. Most of them aren’t even aware of our mid-term elections, so the idea that’s been floated that their movements have been organized and promoted by the Democrats is preposterous. They’re not breaking any laws. They’re not an “army” or an “invading force.” And if you know anything about our border, you know they wouldn’t have a prayer of crossing it as such a visible group if they did make it here. They’re simply a peaceful band of poor and often endangered migrants, men, women and children seeking a better life somewhere and, naturally, some protestors are accompanying them. Why wouldn’t they? If I had the time and opportunity, I’d happily travel down to join them, take photographs of them, and learn more about their various plights.
But I don’t mean to make this brief entry about me, only to appeal from a personal perspective. There are more qualified journalists reporting from the caravan in Mexico right now. In fact, there’s an excellent, detailed first-hand report by Annie Correal, who called in from Huixtla, Mexico included in this morning’s episode of the NYT Daily podcast. I recommend giving it a listen.
Trump and many within the GOP will take advantage of this development to scare up some votes. Quite literally taking advantage of these impoverished migrants. And the situation does warrant a clear statement: Trump is outright lying and spreading misinformation on this topic. Making stuff up willy-nilly and on the spot to frighten people. Repeatedly. It’s sickening.
Whether you voted for Donald Trump or not, please don’t let him use a band of disadvantaged, vulnerable people to literally scare up votes by playing into people’s base fears and misconceptions.
This isn’t about politics. It’s about humanity.