Some thought it would be easy. Others knew it would be difficult, but were convinced they were up to the challenge. They couldn’t have been more wrong. WAFB9 explains that “Caravan migrants explore options after Tijuana border clash.”
“Many among the more than 5,000 Central American migrants in Tijuana were urgently exploring their options amid a growing feeling that they had little hope of making successful asylum bids in the United States or of crossing the border illegally.”
While it is true that some came planning to cross over illegally, they underestimated the difficulty of sneaking across the border in a caravan of 5,000 people. They also underestimated the resolve of the U.S. government to protect its borders from breach at any cost.
At one point, the president seemed to authorize lethal force. Fortunately, it didn’t come to that. It did come to the release of tear gas on men, women, and children. Initially, Trump denied tear gas was used on children. But CNN reported there were photos and videos to the contrary.
“President Donald Trump on Monday denied that federal agents along the US-Mexico border used tear gas on child migrants, but photos and videos show women and children migrants were among those caught up in an incident between border agents and a migrant group that rushed a border crossing Sunday.”
After that, President Trump changed his message to acknowledge that some children may have been caught up in the tear gas. But he gave his assurances that it was a very safe variant of the tear gas. From there, he offered a strongly worded defense of the use of tear gas and made a number of very specific accusations.
Despite numerous images to the contrary, President Trump claims that most of the migrants are dangerous single men – “stone-cold criminals.” Additionally, he said some of the women were not really mothers at all, but child grabbers who stole children so as to have a better chance at asylum.
President Trump has a narrative that eliminates the possibility of any innocent or sympathetic figures in the caravan. They are all dangerous, lying criminals who will never under any circumstances be allowed entry into the country. They are not desperate victims of their own government, but evil invaders who must be stopped at all costs.
The migrants did not anticipate this reaction and are now assessing their options. Some have redirected their hopes toward Rosarito, a beach town about 40 minutes south of Tijuana that is popular among U.S. tourists. The word is a person can live well there if they are willing to work hard. That is once what people used to say of the United States of America.
The border rush resulted in many arrests. But it did not represent the majority of the caravan. Those who came to seek political asylum now despair that they will get a fair hearing because of the actions of a few. However, long before the border clash, President Trump made it clear that he was not open to petitions of asylum from the migrant caravan.