The Migrant Caravan Story is Overblown

A man cycles on road during the daytime in Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala.

Photo by Jeison Higuita on Unsplash

The story of a migrant caravan making its way towards the United States boarder has been covered extensively on cable news networks as President Trump began picking it up as a talking point for the midterm elections.

“We have to stop them at the border,” said Trump as he talked with the press. “Unfortunately, when you look at the countries [that these migrants are coming from] they have not done their job.”

The caravan, made up of around 7,000 undocumented immigrants from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador, began their travel more than two week ago in search of asylum in Mexico and America.

The condition in those countries have driven families to make the dangerous journey north, with high levels of violence and poverty flooding the region. It is astounding to me that people can’t have some empathy for those who are risking their life to try and find better living conditions for their family. 

For a mother to bring her child across such a dangerous terrain illustrates how horrific the conditions are in these countries. Instead of being so self-centered in your view of world events, open your peripheral to a broader and fuller context from the migrant’s perspectives.

According to the World Bank, nearly 5.5 million people in Honduras live in poverty. A product of this mass poverty, that encapsulates nearly two-thirds of the population, is mass violence, and more specifically, gang violence.

A recent Washington Post article highlights that these conditions mainly effect children and teenagers. Highly organized street gangs control large territories in the country causing many teen boys to be pressured into joining them.

Although immigration is an important issue to discuss, there are more pressing policy issues that should be covered by the media. Many people aren’t educated about the local and state issues, and political candidates, that will be on the ballot next week.

When President Trump speaks about this issue, it is just being used as a political tool to help bring out Republican voters for the midterm election. The news shifts the narrative from a human rights issue to pure policy and boarder control.

Most of us haven’t experiences what these migrants are putting themselves through. They want to be a productive member of society, but first need to find a society that lets them be successful. They wouldn’t put themselves through this journey if they weren’t desperate to find a better life.

I only ask one thing of cable news: Save some coverage for more pressing issues.

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