Reflection of the Migrant Caravan

Alexandra Fosbury  ’21, Life & Style Editor

Recently the news has been filled with articles about the migrant caravan that is attempting to reach the Mexican-American border; however, I think that the news leaves out such an integral part: true narratives. 

In my Spanish 385 class this semester, we spent a few weeks learning about immigration, particularly from countries such as Honduras and Cuba. These asylum seekers left their crime-ridden city of San Pedro Sula, Honduras in search of a safer, more stable life. 

The stories of immigrants and refugees span from leaving abusive homes to trying to support their impoverished families. In addition, many people are fleeing from severely corrupt governments and military regimes that insight violence on innocent civilians. While some people might not be touched by these narratives, the simple reality is that these people would not risk their lives and the lives of their children if they were not in a dire or desperate circumstance. Rather than the media profiting off of stories that portray immigrants and refugees as entities or threats to the United States, but as human beings. 

President Trump has gained a lot of popularity for stigmatizing immigrants, particularly those form Mexico. Something that has troubled me about his rhetoric is that he portrays immigrants as criminals, rapists and drug dealers as if that is their only contribution to the human population. 

In response to the couple thousands of asylum seekers, President Trump has decided to send thousands of troops to the border in order to “protect” the United States from the supposed violent Hondurans. 

Immigrants as a whole also have an undeserved reputation throughout the United States. NPR wrote an article discussing how illegal immigration has not caused an increase in violent crime in the United States. In fact, illegal immigrants actually do not engage in as much violent crime as U.S.-born or legal citizens. Much of the negative stigma around immigrants comes from the media, particularly news sources and television.

Many media sources focus solely on the supposed disaster that the Hondurans are causing, even though they have yet to reach the United States or impact us in any way. Meanwhile, many migrants have faced starvation, illness and even death trying to get through Mexico. While most of Latin America is lumped into one general group, usually associated with dangerous immigrants, the reality is that each individual nation throughout Latin America is facing their own crises. This includes nations like Honduras and Venezuela where government corruption and severe economic instability are causing unrest with civilians. 

Not only is the trek from their home country to the United States difficult, but the racism and hostility they face once they arrive in the United States is excessive. In recent months, with the help of President Trump and his anti-immigrant rhetoric, many videos have been captured of people yelling out things such as “Go back to your country!” or “Speak English!” (as a quick reminder, the United States does not have an official language, most likely because we were supposedly founded on the principle that we are a land of immigrants and everyone should be accepted). 

After leaving a nation where you felt unsafe and unprotected, I cannot imagine how it would feel to arrive in the United States only to be met feeling an equal or more severe amount insecurity.