Posted by Nicholas Chung
October 13th, the migrant caravan has now reached the Mexico-United States border. The group is mainly made up of migrants trying to escape from the dangers in Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. In addition, there are also smaller groups of migrants heading towards the border who are currently sheltered in Guatemala and Mexico. It is estimated that there will be around 10,000 migrants at the border when everyone arrives. In those countries, the government is corrupt and fails to help the people. Gang activity is out of control and threatens to rip families apart and ruin the lives of innocent citizens. The migrants just want to find a home where they can feel safe and build a bright future for their families.
The Youth Advisory Council is very disappointed in the actions of our president, Donald Trump, who has reacted to this situation very poorly. Instead of assisting the people in need of shelter and refuge, he militarized thousands of troops to reinforce and guard the border. Although I also understand his point of view that criminals could be mixed into the caravan, we should at least attempt to help the migrants who came so far. We should be bringing in people that could speed up the screening and immigration process and find the migrants a safe place to be in, not throwing tear gas at women and children. It is saddening to hear the difference of reaction between Mexico and the United States. Mexico has opened their arms to the migrants and provided them shelter and jobs as long as they follow the laws of the country. Meanwhile, the U.S. has shut out starving families and have only allowed a small number of people in.
Our country has a long history of mistreatment towards minorities and this just adds onto the list. Think back to the time when there was a large number of Asian immigrants. There was a huge difference between the immigration process at Angel Island and Ellis Island. Migrants from Europe made up the majority of people at Ellis Island and their screening process was much more simplistic. They didn’t have to deal with discrimination and were only held for one or two days. Migrants at Angel Island on the other hand had to deal with harsh interrogators, racism, and a lot of them were detained for more than a year. At the time, the Chinese Exclusion Act banned chinese laborers from immigrating into the U.S. They had to withstand overcrowded, dirty living quarters and grueling examinations. Once again, we are shutting migrants in need out of our country and it goes to show that we haven’t learned from the past. In a way, the U.S. is the root cause of the problems in these countries. We are always sticking our noses in the business of others and leaving when the problems becomes too much to handle. It leads to poverty, crime, and government corruption that puts the residents there in danger and in need of a new home. That’s where the U.S. must take responsibility for their actions and provide for the people they have affected.