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.