Contrary to what Trump says, the US should help asylum-seeking migrants

Contrary to what Trump says, the US should help asylum-seeking migrants

Contrary to what Trump says, the US should help asylum-seeking migrants
November 29
00:31 2018

Since October, a caravan of thousands of migrants from crime and poverty-ridden countries in Central America has been journeying on foot to the U.S. to seek asylum status. President Donald Trump and supporters have consistently demonized the caravan — Trump going so far as threatening to permanently close the southern border of the U.S. in response to what he calls “an invasion.”

To be clear, the migrant caravan is legal: in order to seek asylum in a country, you have to physically be there. The caravan is legal, but some people might want to lead you to believe otherwise.  Migrants are going about this the best way they can.

On Sunday, some migrants ran to the U.S.-Mexico border crossing to San Diego which prompted border agents to fire tear gas into the crowd, afflicting many in the group, including young children.

Although they are right on the border, migrants will not be accepted into the country legally until their asylum requests are approved — a process that can take months.

The issue at hand is one of humanity. The people crossing the border are trying to survive, trying to do what they can to better their lives for their families. And our country responds with bullets and tear gas.

Make no mistake, those coming to the U.S. should go about it legally. However, tear gassing them in the process is not the way to treat them during their time of seeking asylum.

Within the callous replies to caravan news updates, a sense of misplaced superiority is reflected. The migrants are no less human than we are, yet responses that liken them to animals, vicious criminals or leeching parasites are a dime a dozen in Twitter comments.

Is it so unchangeably intrinsic to human nature to want a group of people to feel better than, to have someone you can point to and say “at least I’m better than that guy,” that some of us become indifferent to human suffering?

What has blinded people to the reality that our nation has turned against other humans fleeing murder, violence and corruption? The migrants have not committed violent crimes, they are not convicts, rapists, or sex traffickers. They are just everyday people no different than us, except they didn’t win the lottery of being American.

When lives are at risk, there is no time or patience to wait until a border officer gets around to your asylum application.

The last resort method to get people to understand migration turmoil is one that should have been instilled within many of us in grade school — put yourself in their shoes. Nothing is being hidden from you: With news stories and photos flooding social media, you can see and read all about what the migrants endure on the caravan.

Take a moment and sit with the realities of 30-mile-per-day walks through Honduras in a pair of disintegrating flip-flops. Think about the potential of spreading illnesses, lice and chicken pox outbreaks and as you trudge through your military-torn nation. Picture your malnourished child gasping and crying in your arms from tear gas canisters launched from inside the country you desperately need help from.

While for some, it might be easy to remove emotion from a situation they have no connection to, compassion — even for just a moment — doesn’t hurt anyone.

Imagine the dire conditions these people had to come from that this, the caravan, was the better option. With all of this in mind, a “protect our nation first” U.S. mentality pens a death certificate for battered migrants seeking safety and refuge.

Even those that have a resolute view on strict borders can surely agree that regular people escaping terror do not deserve to be needlessly attacked.

On Nov. 2, Trump expressed to voters at a rally in Missouri that unless they want the country to be “overrun by masses of illegal aliens and giant caravans,” then they better vote Republican. You would think such a blatant demonstration of weaponizing fear of the unknown to manipulate votes would tip some people off, but thoughtlessly buying into what you’re being fed is easier than questioning it.

Being shown edited clips of extremely large groups of people marching to the border can incite fear. And anyone immediately concerned after seeing such footage is valid in their initial worries, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg.

The truth can often be a little harder to digest, and a little harder to find. But knowing the truth tastes so much better than simply just believing something at face value ever could.

Featured Illustration: Elizabeth Rhoden

About Author

North Texas Daily

North Texas Daily

The North Texas Daily is the official student newspaper of the University of North Texas, proudly serving UNT and the Denton community since 1916.

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2 Comments

  1. Daymon
    Daymon November 30, 08:37

    “When I see Mexican flags waved at proimmigration demonstrations, I sometimes feel a flush of patriotic resentment. When I’m forced to use a translator to communicate with the guy fixing my car, I feel a certain frustration.” – Sen. Barack Obama

    The thesis of this article tallks about feelings. This take on everything being a humanitarian issue is doing this country in. Just as the commercial with the cold shivering puppies in slow motion with Sarah McLachlan playing the barbituate anthem works to instill compassion that generates millions and millions of dollars for “for profit” companies, these illegal foreign invaders are the shivering puppies of the modern liberal.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Czar911
    Czar911 November 30, 12:17

    Did you print a similar opinion when the previous president said & did did the same thing?

    Reply to this comment

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