Caravanners to Trump: Pay Us $50K and We’ll Go Home

From the beginning, the migrant caravan massed along our southern border failed to match the portrait painted by the mainstream media: a tired, poor, huddled mass of yearning to breathe free.

But that’s sketch doesn’t comport with the violent, messy reality. The caravan forced its way into Mexico, from Guatemala. Once in Mexico, it threw rocks and sticks at Mexican police who attempted to halt the caravan’s advance. Then caravan members began refusing food and water offered by Mexican citizens because they wanted soda and pizza instead. As soon as the group arrived in Tijuana, they began leaving bottles of urine and mountains of trash all over the city.

In a prior blog, I mentioned an old saying of which my grandmother was fond, “Beggars can’t be choosers.” It’s a folksy way of expressing the notion that when you rely on others for charity, it’s just plain rude to demand something other than what a gracious benefactor is willing to provide.

Apparently, that’s a saying the caravan members never learned. According to Fox News and The San Diego Union Tribune, on Tuesday December 11, 2018, two groups of caravanners presented ultimatums to the U.S. Consul General in Tijuana. They made the following demands:

  • Either let them into the United States or pay them each $50,000 to go home.
  • Halt deportations from the United States.
  • Process caravan asylum applications faster.
  • Admit up to 300 caravan asylum seekers every day, via the San Ysidro Port of Entry.

If those demands seem outrageous, that’s because they are. Foreign nationals seeking admission to the United States are in no position to demand anything. But, according to the narrative touted by caravan organizers, all of the woes currently being experienced by the countries of the Northern Triangle (El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras) are the direct result of U.S. intervention in the region. Therefore, they claim, the U.S. is obligated to fix everything wrong in those countries.

But that narrative is wildly inaccurate. The Northern Triangle is actually a major beneficiary of American financial largesse. Each year, the United States gives all El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras massive foreign-aid packages. Per the latest statistics from the U.S. Agency for International Development, in fiscal year 2017:

So, perhaps it’s time that we stopped being so generous and presented the caravan members with a demand of our own: “Go home, and set your own affairs in order before you come here with your hand out, blaming us for your problems!”  The troubles afflicting the Northern Triangle are the direct result of domestic corruption and bad decision-making upon the part of local political leaders. U.S. foreign policy has not always been perfect, but even where mistakes were made, those errors do not excuse the misdeeds committed by corrupt regimes. And the myth that the U.S. is at fault shouldn’t be used as a bludgeon to drive open our border for folks who demand so much from others but appear to expect so little of themselves.

About Author


Matthew J. O’Brien joined the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in 2016. Matt is responsible for managing FAIR’s research activities. He also writes content for FAIR’s website and publications. Over the past twenty years he has held a wide variety of positions focusing on immigration issues, both in government and in the private sector. Immediately prior to joining FAIR Matt served as the Chief of the National Security Division (NSD) within the Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate (FDNS) at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), where he was responsible for formulating and implementing procedures to protect the legal immigration system from terrorists, foreign intelligence operatives, and other national security threats. He has also held positions as the Chief of the FDNS Policy and Program Development Unit, as the Chief of the FDNS EB-5 Division, as Assistant Chief Counsel with U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement, as a Senior Advisor to the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman, and as a District Adjudications Officer with the legacy Immigration & Naturalization Service. In addition, Matt has extensive experience as a private bar attorney. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in French from the Johns Hopkins University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Maine School of Law.


  1. avatar
    Gloria Jimenez-Ross on

    Just who in the hell they think they are demanding; CUT OFF ALL FOREIGN to ALL OF THESE COUNTRIES NOW. WHY are we paying corrupted, incompetent governments; we have enough of that **** at home; we are paying high congressional salaries for NO REPRESENTATION and don’t need to be paying FOREIGN to foreign countries who still send all of their refuse to us and expect us to feed their fancies of pizza and soda; GO back their f******G country and get a job. STOP PAYING Americans’ taxpayer money to FOREIGN COUNTRIES PERIOD!

  2. avatar

    Hey, how about we let you go home and we don’t charge you with breaking our laws and we pay you nothing which is what you deserve.

  3. avatar
    Benjamin Troia on

    Build the wall rather than paying welfare benefits to thugs that demand they have the right to come into America regardless of our laws and the wishes of the American citizens .

    • avatar

      Build the wall get House of Representatives to do their job and immediately fix the problems that got us to where we are today. Otherwise Americans will soon become the majority. No more birther babies, when you apply for citizenship or a visa you must be self sufficient and not on any government program, children of illegal aliens must contribute to education before they can attend school or universities. Everyone must pass health examinations and have all of their shots especial for communicable and social diseases.

  4. avatar

    The left is trying to spin the White House meeting between Trump, Schumer and Pelosi as some PR triumph for the two Democrats. But Pelosi was clearly saying over and over that the meeting should be moved behind closed doors. First of all, that looks like they are trying to hide something and if she thought it was making the two of them look good she would not have insisted on that. She realized they were losing the battle.

    Second, there was yet another example of the disdain with which the Democratic leadership looks down on the middle of the country, like Hillary did so often. When Pelosi pointed out that the Democrats took the House, Trump said the GOP increased their Senate advantage. To which Schumer dismissively sneered, oh yeah you won North Dakota and Indiana. In other words, it was the flyover country “deplorables” at it again, instead of those supposedly enlightened folks who live on the coasts.

  5. avatar

    Trump needs to take a page from Michael Corleone: “My offer is this: Nothing!” You can’t negotiate with terrorists.