Although Fox News and President Trump have marketed the immigrant caravan as the greatest threat to the safety of America, the truth is that we should be worried about not what is outside of our borders, but inside. Legal and illegal immigrants in their majority are not violent criminals preying on law-abiding citizens. Studies have shown immigrants are less likely to commit a crime than a native-born citizen of the United States. Nonetheless, the general perception of immigrants from poorer nations is an inherent proclivity towards violent behavior which seems to justify refusal of entry for asylum seekers.
The existence of the migrant caravan has been known for months. Their stories have been documented and shared by the news throughout the world. Unfortunately, this hasn’t moved the president or his administration to consider hearing their plea for asylum. They claim open borders are the first step towards the corruption of American culture, even though these people escaping gangs and poverty from Honduras are only asking for an application for asylum. It is not a surprise attack or a threat to American sovereignty, but mostly for thousands of malnourished refugees who are so afraid for their safety. They have walked through countries to escape the violence at home. Nevertheless, they are still vilified as a plague, bloodthirsty criminals disguising as women and children.
President Donald Trump and Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen have defended their decision of firing tear gas into a different country. Not only did this violate international law protecting refugees seeking asylum, but the United States actively ignored the established Mexican border. Instead of allowing the refugees to present their cases and apply formally for entry to the country, the administration is challenging international agreements that are meant to keep nations safe from foreign intervention. In addition, the U.S. troops were deployed to the border to protect the country from tired and still distant refugees instead of spending Thanksgiving with their families. Even though the rhetoric surrounding the caravan has portrayed it as the greatest threat to the United States in modern history, the true terror is already inside our borders.
While Homeland Security is tear-gassing refugees on foreign territory, right-wing extremists are sending explosive devices to former and current government officials and slaughtering other American citizens in places of worship. But the narrative is drastically different when reporting these sorts of incidents. They are “mentally ill,” “delusional” or flat out “sick.” Meanwhile, these Central American refugees have been called “bad people,” “terrorists” and “criminals” without any reason. The president is afraid MS-13 and ISIS members are hiding amidst the caravan, but instead of advocating for a background screening of these refugees, he resorts to violence.
While Trump blatantly condemns this group of people that have done little to deserve it, he is failing to address the growing violence against minorities and his own critics. These acts of violence that can disrupt and end the lives of any law-abiding citizens are isolated incidents to the Trump administration and Fox News. The term “terrorism” is rarely used when describing these horrific events while a caravan of poor immigrants is rapidly labeled a national emergency. The truth is white supremacy and the anti-immigrant rhetoric go hand in hand.