Central American Caravan Crisis
Central American Caravan Crisis
By Ariel Rivera-Diaz
October 19th, 2018
There is chaos at the Mexican border as the Central American Caravan reaches the nation of Mexico. Despite President Trump’s threats of cutting foreign aid to El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, asylum seekers continued their way to the United States. According to a New York Post report, Mexican authorities clashed with multiple people at its border. Young men began to push on the fence and throw rocks, after they were given orders to not cross the Mexican border. Authorities had no other option and decided to use force to protect its border. As a result, there are reports that a 7-month old child has died because of the tear gas used, this report hasn’t been confirmed by Mexican authorities.
4,000 people, mainly from Honduras, are fleeing from the violence and poverty present in their nation. Asylum seekers are saying that they no longer have a choice and must run away from their country for their own safety. Gang Activity and Homicides are high in Honduras. According to the World Bank, homicides in Honduras are at 56 per 100,000 people. Hondurans say that Juan Orlando Hernandez, president of Honduras, is corrupt and has been taking money for his own luxuries.
Mexican authorities used pepper spray to try to mitigate the asylum seekers’ efforts of bringing down the gate at the Mexican border. Mexico has only allowed 15 women and children to cross over the Mexican border.
This is now an international crisis that needs the attention of multiple international leaders. The Honduran president has said that “irregular migration has been happening for decades.” According to a report from Euronews, Honduran activists support Trump’s threats of cutting aid to Honduras due to human rights abuse happening in Honduras.
People in the Caravan are saying that they would rather die in their journey to the United States than die in Honduras. New Jersey Senator, Bob Menendez, told Univision that the people seeking asylum must be granted political asylum.
Jorge Ramos took the opportunity to further polarize the issue and stated “Mexico has the moral obligation to treat Central American immigrants with respect. How is it that for Central Americans [Mexico] is requesting documents when there are millions of Mexicans illegally entering the United States? Double Morals?” This statement shows that he would rather see us internationally divided than see us come together and solve the immigration crisis.
This is not the time to use Honduran asylum seekers as puppets for political gain. Central American leaders must take responsibility for the safety of the 4,000 people seeking protection in Mexico and the United States.
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Ariel Rivera-Diaz ran for State Assembly in the 2018 NYS Elections. He served as Bronx Borough Coordinator for 2017 NYC Mayoral Candidate Nicole Malliotakis. Ariel is an active member of the Bronx GOP and has assisted in grassroots efforts to increase civic engagement among voters. He is a recipient of the James H. Hackett Oratory Award in high school.