What do VHS students think about the migrant caravan?

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“…My guess as to why the Commander in Chief has sent troops is to stop the Caravan due to [the] belief of [it] bringing cartel dealers, criminals and gangs, said Rodriguez.” Photo by: Sam Hicks

Sam Hicks

Migrants from Central America have been steadily trudging north toward the United States in search of refuge from poverty, gang violence, persecution and death in their home countries. President Donald Trump suggested that Middle Eastern terrorists could be traveling within the group, and that the growing migration could bring diseases and competition for U.S. jobs; saying it is an “invasion” which he considers serious enough to require a military presence at the border.

Many think that Trump’s claims, that this march of impoverished refugees moving slowly through Mexico poses a real threat, is just presidential bravado. Some say it is an opportunity to show military power in attempts to convince voters that he is protecting the country from a terrible threat to national security. In any case, on Oct. 31, 2018, the President ordered more than 5,000 U.S. military personnel to the U.S./Mexican border to assist Customs and Border Protection. Then, at a campaign rally in Tennessee on Nov. 4, 2018, Trump spoke against the migrant group of nearly 4,000 Latinos, saying “Turn back now, because you’re not getting in,” and referred to the Caravan as “an invasion.”

According to “Market Watch” and “The Chicago Tribune,” the migrant group is about 1,000 miles away, in the Mexican state of Oaxaca. With many of the itinerants in the caravan traveling on foot, covering 20 to 30 miles per day, the mass of the group will not reach the Mexican-American border for nearly two months.

“I think Trump sees this Caravan as a threat because we have no idea who is coming into our country, and that could be a threat to national security,” said Hobson. Photo by: Sam Hicks

Even though the Caravan is hundreds of miles away, President Trump continues to justify his deployment of troops to the border and says he will treat any rock-throwing as use of “a firearm.” “They want to throw rocks at our military, our military fights back. I told them to consider it a rifle,” he added at a press conference on November 1. Trump “ease[d]” off of his threat the next day, per Politico.

Why would The Commander in Chief send armed troops to the border in early November, many weeks before their arrival? What do Ventura students think of the President’s remarks characterizing the caravan as a serious threat to our nation?

“What I think about his remarks on the Caravan [being] a serious threat to the nation is astonishing,” said junior Jasmine Rodriguez. “People seem to be more caught up in what the President might do in this scenario than what might happen to these immigrants who are seeking safety and security.”

In contrast, senior Logan Hobson had a different take. “President Trump sent troops to the border in advance of the Caravan so the Border Patrol would have support from the troops and have time to plan how to deal with the mass amounts of people coming to the southern border.”