Trump Disregards Caravan Asylum Seekers’ Legal Rights

As Central Americans fleeing oppression in their countries remain stalled in appalling conditions at the U.S. border, Donald Trump ramps up the xenophobic rhetoric, reports Marjorie Cohn.

By Marjorie Cohn

The 300 asylum seekers who arrived at the U.S. border on April 29 after a month-long, 2,000-mile journey have another grueling struggle ahead of them, according to the immigration attorneys who are donating their time to represent them.

More than three-quarters of asylum claims from Hondurans, Guatemalans and Salvadorans between 2012 and 2017 were denied, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University, and this year’s caravan of asylum seekers are facing a climate made even more hostile by the xenophobic Trump administration.

Once the asylum applicants—who traveled in a caravan to the Tijuana-San Ysidro border from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala—establish that they face a credible fear of persecution in their home countries, their ordeals are just beginning.

Colleen Flynn, an immigration attorney with the National Lawyers Guild’s Los Angeles chapter, said in an interview that because of retaliation by the Trump administration, even those who establish “credible fear” could face years of detention.

“Some will bond out, but many others will be unable to raise the money for high bonds,” Flynn said. “There is a possibility their kids will be taken away.”

In the face of these fears, Flynn said, the asylum seekers she met in Tijuana are “incredibly resilient, incredibly hopeful, really brave.”

Hundreds of supporters, many of whom had marched 150 miles from Los Angeles, gathered on the U.S. side of the border in solidarity with the asylum seekers. It was “a really moving sight to see people coming together at the border,” said Kath Rogers, executive director of the National Lawyers Guild’s Los Angeles chapter.

When the asylum seekers arrived at the border, however, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers informed them that the port of entry was “at capacity” and repeated that mantra throughout the day. When Gilbert Saucedo, an attorney, human rights advocate and co-president of the L.A. chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, asked the CBP officers, “‘Is that what you were told to say?’ they said ‘yes,’” Saucedo told me in an interview.

Caravan marching through Mexico last month. (Twitter)

Pueblo Sin Fronteras, a group that has accompanied migrants and refugees on their journeys for 15 years, took issue with the officers, saying in a statement: “Customs and Border Protection is the largest law enforcement agency in the country, and is able to detain, transport and incarcerate thousands of people in a day, but is pretending that they don’t have the ‘capacity’ to accept 150 refugee parents and children whose arrival has been anticipated and communicated weeks in advance.”

The asylum seekers have a legal right to have their applications considered, and many of them have meritorious claims. Notwithstanding Trump’s bloviating, CBP officers began slowly processing the asylum requests. By the end of the fifth day, roughly half of the caravan asylum seekers had been taken to San Diego for processing.

Meanwhile, the remaining asylum seekers continue to wait. They are camping on the ground in unseasonably cool and drizzly weather. Mostly women and children, they are cold and hungry, despite some rations provided by their supporters.

“It just broke my heart to see them,” Saucedo said.

Flynn spoke of a group of women whose lives are endangered in their home countries because they are transgender. These women “really kept spirits up” among the asylum seekers, “singing, dancing, elevating the mood and keeping people’s hopes alive.”

Trump Tries to Keep Asylum Seekers Out

Donald Trump tweeted on April 23 that he ordered the Department of Homeland Security “not to let these large Caravans of people into our Country,” adding, “It is a disgrace.”

Unsurprisingly, Trump demonstrated no compassion for those who made the dangerous trip by bus, train and on foot to escape persecution in their home countries, referring to them as “this problem.” On April 3, he tweeted, “The big Caravan of People from Honduras … had better be stopped before it gets there.” The caravan asylum seekers were “openly defying our border,” Trump tweeted on April 30, and wrote in a fundraising email to his supporters on April 26, “We need a strong, impenetrable WALL that will end this problem once and for all.”

Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Mississippi), ranking member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, disagreed with Trump’s assessment.

“It’s overkill,” Thompson told HuffPost. “You would have expected [Trump] to have been briefed by intelligence officers exactly who was headed this way … We know who they are. We know where they are. And we even know why they’re coming. So to try to elevate this into some heightened sense of threat, it just didn’t measure up.”

Caravans of asylum seekers arrive at the U.S.-Mexico border annually. But this year, Trump began his Twitter and verbal assaults on the caravan before it reached Tijuana. “Are you watching that mess that’s going on right now with the caravan coming up?” he said at an April 29 rally in Michigan. “We have the worst laws anywhere in the world, we don’t have borders.”

Thompson: “Overkill.”

Michael Knowles, president of the asylum officers union, told The San Diego Union-Tribune, “If they’re coming to seek asylum, they need to be given due process. We shouldn’t be impeded from doing our job, and those applicants should not be impeded from having their cases heard.”

Trump betrayed his ignorance of U.S. immigration law, tweeting, “These big flows of people are all trying to take advantage of DACA. They want in on the act!” In fact, the asylum seekers have nothing to do with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which allowed immigrants brought to the U.S. as children relief from deportation before Trump sought to end the program.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, as contemptuous of immigrants as his boss, called the caravan “a deliberate attempt to undermine our laws and overwhelm our system.” Sessions short-circuited immigration court policies, vacating a Board of Immigration Appeals decision that required immigration judges to provide asylum seekers with a full hearing. Now, thanks to Sessions, judges can deny applications without testimony from the asylum seeker.

The Legal Right to Apply for Asylum

The1951 Refugee Convention requires the United States to accept and consider asylum applications. Applicants must show they are unable or unwilling to return to their country of origin owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion.

Once an applicant demonstrates a credible fear of persecution, which can be shown by evidence of past persecution, he or she must establish that fear stemmed from the applicant’s membership in a particular social group or political opinion. These are the two categories that cover most of the caravan asylum seekers, immigration attorney Helen Sklar, a member of the L.A. chapter executive board of the National Lawyers Guild, said in an interview.

“Membership in a particular social group” requires that members of the group share a “common, immutable” trait that is “so fundamental to the identity or conscience of the member that he or she should not be required to change it.”

The roughly 35 transgender women on the caravan will likely apply for asylum based on membership in the particular social group of being transgender, Sklar explained.

“Political opinion” is the category that applies to many of the asylum seekers, particularly those fleeing violence in Honduras. Most people in the caravan came from Honduras.

Sklar interviewed one asylum seeker who was subjected to persecution by the current Honduran regime because of her opposition to government policies. She reported being threatened and beaten at an anti-government demonstration.

U.S. policy, particularly during the Obama administration, helped create the conditions that caused the asylum seekers to undertake their long and perilous journey north. In 2009, the U.S. government supported a coup that ousted President Manuel Zelaya and made life nearly unbearable for many Hondurans.

As Pamela Spees, senior staff attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights, wrote:

Honduras has been declared the most dangerous country in the world for land rights and environmental activists… It’s not surprising then that the rising and pervasive violence and deep economic insecurity in Honduras and the region has resulted in unprecedented numbers of refugees and migrants fleeing to seek safety and security.

Sklar, who is one of about a dozen attorneys who have been helping the asylum seekers without remuneration, criticized the Trump administration for suggesting that the asylum seekers’ motives are not legitimate.

“Who would undertake such hardship without a compelling need to find safety?” Sklar asked.

Trump’s Racist, Nativist Immigration Policy

Zelaya: Ousted by Obama. (Pan Am Post)

Trump’s verbal attacks on the asylum seekers did not occur in a vacuum. From instituting the Muslim Ban to attempting to end the DACA program, he has consistently appealed to his base by pursuing racist, nativist immigration policies.

Late last year, the Trump administration stopped accepting applications for a program that allowed people from Central America legally residing in the United States to bring their children here. As a result, 3,800 peopleprimarily children—who were being processed under that program are stranded in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. Trump has also drastically reduced the admission of refugees into the U.S. and deployed National Guard troops to the border.

If he had his way, Trump would build a border wall and end the practice of family migration and the diversity visa lottery system. He would also halt the policy of releasing undocumented immigrants with notices to appear in court (a practice that he describes using the dehumanizing language of “catch and release”), opting instead to detain or deport them.

At his April 29 Michigan rally, Trump threatened to shut down the country if his wall did not get built.

“We need security. We need the wall … if we don’t get border security, we’ll have no choice. We’ll close down the country,” Trump declared.

Meanwhile, the asylum seekers brace for the next stage of their long struggle. “Our trip isn’t over,” 17-year-old Jose Coello from Honduras said as he walked into the United States from Tijuana on May 2. “This is just the next step.”

Copyright, Truthout. Reprinted with permission.

Marjorie Cohn is professor emerita at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, former president of the National Lawyers Guild, deputy secretary general of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers and an advisory board member of Veterans for Peace. The second, updated edition of her book, Drones and Targeted Killing: Legal, Moral, and Geopolitical Issues, was published in November. Visit her website: Follow her on Twitter: @MarjorieCohn.

65 comments for “Trump Disregards Caravan Asylum Seekers’ Legal Rights

  1. artichoke
    May 13, 2018 at 21:51

    Come to think of it, why didn’t the caravan head southward from Honduras rather than northward? Nicaragua is right on their border and has been quite stable although there were some pension-related protests recently, Costa Rica after that, surely one of those would have been a safe country that could provide refuge for them.

  2. artichoke
    May 13, 2018 at 21:34

    The article fails to mention that asylum seekers are supposed to stop in the first safe country they reach. That would be Mexico, at the latest, for these people. Therefore I don’t see how any of them has a claim that cannot be promptly and efficiently rejected, and then we can just put them back across the border, into Mexico where they should have stayed (assuming Mexico had to let them in in the first place at their Guatemala border.)

  3. Robbi Gomes
    May 11, 2018 at 15:48

    Labelling the Trump administration xenophobic is the same as calling about 65 million Americans xenophobic. President Trump was elected, at least partially, for his campaign promises. One was to regain control of our southern border. “Build the wall” was the chant that rang out in packed stadiums and halls across the nation. We trump voters are not dumb, deplorables as Clinton called us. We love our country! We want our laws respected. When American attorneys cross our border to teach and advise illegal aliens heading for our country how to lie and cheat their way into the U.S., I would call them un-American. Most of these aliens are coming here for 1 reason: economic advancement. The truth of the matter is that their own countries are corrupt to the bone. Why don’t they change their leaders? Why should they come here and live off us? We have enough poverty, ghettos, and illiteracy to combat. Why should we add to our misery––because poverty and crime are inexorably linked? And what about our gigantic national debt?
    If you were honest you would admit the democratic party has lost the working class of this country. Their only hope is to turn the U.S. “brown” and poorer so that they can be in control doling out food, housing, health care, education and much more to our ever growing illegal immigrant population. Notice how they gleefully project the U.S. becoming a “brown nation” like all our southern neighboring nations. As for aliens not being able to vote until they are citizens, California and other states have found the solution: just let ’em vote. They are citizens of the world, aren’t they? Please don’t call those of us who reject this plan racists. We are a multi-racial nation, but that does not mean we have to become another 3rd world American nation.

  4. KenH
    May 9, 2018 at 08:36

    These asylum seekers claim persecution yet come proudly waving the flags of the nations they claim are persecuting them. Many Americans are sick and tired of seeing their laws flouted and system gamed by migrants who just want a free lunch and only claim asylum since that’s the easiest path to being let in and a greater than 50/50 chance of being allowed to stay.

    The journey from Central America to the U.S. Mexican border is an arduous one and these people had lots of help along the way and didn’t risk life and limb. They were also reportedly taunting U.S. immigration officials at the border which is uncharacteristic of people who fear for their lives and just want safe quarters.

    We can’t keep letting everyone in from around the world who claims persecution whether real or feigned. Either we have a nation or we don’t. People like Marjorie Cohn want America to become an international flophouse.

  5. Henry
    May 8, 2018 at 18:29

    “from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala—establish that they face a credible fear of persecution in their home countries”

    What a BS excuse. They’re now in Mexico. They’re already out of their home countries. Let Mexico take care of them.

  6. backwardsevolution
    May 8, 2018 at 15:46

    Skip Scott – Gaddafi warned that if they took him out, there would be a deluge of Africans flooding into Europe. He was always the cork that kept them out by policing the coastline. They are not ALL coming from African countries where the U.S. has meddled in their affairs. A good percentage of them are going to Europe simply because they now CAN. Like the Mexicans walking across the U.S. border, they are economic migrants who are not fleeing death or destruction, but wanting a better life and the ability to send money back to their homelands.

    These African migrants into Europe are being assisted in their journey by Western NGO’s who pick them up just off the Libyan coast and then transport them to Italy (just like the people assisting the caravan). These NGO’s are not being stopped. In fact, it is my belief that it is EU policy to allow this to happen. The EU could have stopped almost all of the migrants from coming, but they are not doing this. Well, they’re making a half-assed attempt (just to make it look like they’re trying to stop it), but it’s not stopping the flow.

    I don’t for a second believe that Merkel invited (which is what she did) the refugees from Syria into Germany out of the goodness of her heart, as she professes. No, I think she was being told to do this by the corporate interests who own HER.

    I read that most of the refugees that fled into Turkey from Syria had found jobs and apartments to live in, and there was only a small minority of them living in refugee camps in Turkey. Again, the NGO’s went right into the camps and Turkish cities and enticed the refugees to leave for Europe, assisted them in their journey. After all, Merkel was practically calling them to come. And when I saw the long lines of refugees walking across the European countryside, I was struck by the fact that almost all of them were young men.

    I’m not saying the war in Syria was created in order to free up new workers for Europe. But, hey, when opportunity strikes, the corporate class in Europe seized it. I believe the people who are really running things in Europe, just like in the U.S., want these economic migrants. This is globalization at work and virtually nobody realizes it. This is the wholesale destruction of European culture and it’s all being done under the guise of being benevolent and kind-hearted.

    I don’t blame the migrants, even though I think most of them are “economic” migrants. They too have seized the opportunity. They are coming because they CAN, because the government is aiding and assisting them through the use of NGO’s, because the government wants this.

    These corporate interests are the people who are fighting Trump. He wants control of the borders and they want open borders, cheap labor (which serves to hold wages down and gives them great profits). Of course the Mexicans and Africans are nice people, but, again, how many do you want?

    As an aside, I have always argued that the Mexicans owned the lower southwest portion of the United States before the United States took it away from them. The U.S. paid for this land, but the Mexicans did occupy this land before the U.S. claimed it. I know this.

    Thanks, Skip.

    • Realist
      May 8, 2018 at 16:55

      If I might interject. I believe that most of what you say is true about the migrants presently flooding into Europe, and the reasons for it. I think they might be given temporary shelter in camps during the conflict, but sent back to their homelands once the wars end and reconstruction begins. I realise some powerful forces (including the NGO’s you describe and the plutocrats who sponsor them–George Soros looms large here) are interested more in social reconstruction for political reasons rather than simply providing acts of human charity. There most certainly is a plan to Balkanize and destabilise European society, using the age old divide and conquer tactic. Any country, especially the Visegrads, that objects to controlling its own borders is castigated as “fascist,” while others that submit are having their cultures thrown into turmoil by outsiders who refuse to acculturate, nay, overtly express the desire to transform their host countries into bastions of Sharia (law). Moreover, a large percentage of these migrants seem to be aggressive young males who very possibly were headchoppers for the terrorists, and they are not being properly vetted but simply allowed in because they are assertive and demanding.

      Yes, the chaos and bad choices made in Europe should certainly raise a caution in America about how we protect our own borders and whom we choose to allow in. But we should not conflate the two situations. There is a great deal of human suffering that policies of the American government created in Central America, about which this country should not only be altruistic but held legally liable. Simple justice demands this, but it will also be a good learning experience for the American hegemon that allows itself the right to do anything anywhere, including acts of torture and genocide.

      That said, there must be due process given to every claimant seeking American justice and safe harbor. No entire nationality should be given sweeping rights to residency and citizenship in the United States as the Cubans were promised for mostly political reasons. Every case must be presented and assessed. What is the actual hardship suffered by these families? What is the cause? Are they being persecuted because of their politics, tribal membership, religion or what have you? Not every Vietnamese was allowed into the United States after the fall of Saigon. Anyone remember the “boat people” who could not find a country to take them in? Maybe most applicants will be denied legal immigrant status based on the merits. Certainly the infamous gang members from these countries should be barred by the vetting process. One irony is that such dregs are the ones who are most successful entering this country through both legal and illegal means when single mothers are just routinely denied entry without review.

      Frankly, I think most of these migrants are sadly mistaken about the quality of life they expect to find in the US, which is why Mexican immigration (legal and illegal) has dropped precipitously. Their services are no longer needed in our now globalized economy. The exception might be drug couriers. I’m sure the extant Mexican lettuce pickers don’t want competition from newly arrived Guatemalans. It’s a complex dynamic amongst this country’s non-Anglo population that “we” don’t necessarily understand.

      The best scenario would have been to stay out of Latin American internal affairs. The whole premise that we had to go in to prevent a Russian take-over of Latin American was as specious as the claim that Iran is poised to conquer the Middle East or that Putin is planning to invade the Baltics. Now, the best we can do is to allow the wound to heal, and that includes giving justice to those who can prove they were victims of American foreign policy. The remedy might not even be settlement in THIS country, but perhaps finding them a home in some other country that will have them… like we arranged for many of those illegally detained in Guantanamo. If these people had money, the litigation would go on forever and they’d be living in condos in Miami like their many of their oppressors are presently doing.

      • backwardsevolution
        May 8, 2018 at 17:49

        Realist – thanks for your good post.

        “Not every Vietnamese was allowed into the United States after the fall of Saigon.” There was a big worry at the time that the North Vietnamese would come in and crush the people in Saigon who had helped the U.S. during the war. This didn’t happen. The North Vietnamese did diddly-squat to them. It was all for not, as usual. A big humanitarian crisis that never needed to be. I think it was more so the U.S. could say, “Look, we’ve saved these people from the Commies!” A few short years later, all was forgotten and the U.S. and Vietnam were doing business again like nothing happened. Thousands of dead names chiseled onto the big black wall, but corporate interests never missed a beat. It wasn’t their kid who died.

        Realist, I like what Tucker Carlson had to say about the whole question of immigration, which is something like 1.5 million/year at present: shouldn’t the people coming in be people who can actually add value to the country, who want to assimilate? Now, I know that’s a hard thing to measure, because I wouldn’t want to be measured against someone like you. I’d lose, hands down. I don’t have the education you do. Hard to say what makes a better immigrant – I guess a wide variety is best. But it’s ludicrous to think a country is going to succeed if all that’s coming in are uneducated people with no skills.

        Tucker also states that the East Coast Liberal neighborhoods have not changed in decades. They’re still lily-white and elitist. Their schools are not filled with ESL students who take attention away from their kids, their streets are not congested with the homeless or filled with drug addicts or drug wars, and they’re still attending Ivy League schools and going on to corporate jobs. Life goes on as it always has for them. They are ignorant about what is happening in the rest of the country, the loss of jobs, etc., and yet these people, blind to the plight of their own citizens, are usually the cheerleaders for helping a caravan of refugees. They are never ever faced with the consequences! Tucker has asked several elites where they live, and when they answer “such and such,” Tucker just laughs and says, “Yeah, you’re not affected there!”

        Yes, I agree that the U.S. has caused untold damage everywhere, but it is not the U.S. people who are doing this. They have no say. They elected Trump to make a difference, but even he has been completely shut down by his own party and the Democrats. Yes, people need to be up in arms and tell their representatives that they don’t want any more wars, no more destruction of foreign countries, but nobody listens to them. They are powerless.

        A few days ago somebody posted a good Chris Hedges interview of Sheldon Wolin. Wolin said that what we live under is “Inverted Totalitarianism”. He said that normal totalitarianism is when a government uses economic means to control the people, but inverted totalitarianism is when economic forces (Wall Street, World Trade Organization, IMF, the Council on Foreign Relations, etc.) use the government (which they pay for) as a means of control. He argues this is what we have, and I’d agree. It is totalitarianism, inverted. The corporate money needs to be wrung out of government before anything seriously can be done. The law should be that if you take corporate money as a government official, you’re going to jail. The people must take back the government.

        Realist, I haven’t made much sense, as my son is waiting for me and I must go. Thanks for the conversation.

        • Realist
          May 9, 2018 at 05:24

          Backwards, I received my fancy education straight through to the Ph.D. totally FREE of charge from the state of Illinois and the U.S. government back in the days when our tax dollars were used to provide needed services to our citizens. Bernie wasn’t “crazy” to think that a redirection of priorities could once again make possible here what is still reality throughout most of Europe. It’s all the wars that are sucking us dry while we lay waste to entire countries.

          Fancy credentials indicate that one has been (or should have been) exposed to the important issues confronting the human race. With “great minds” like Kissinger, Brzezinski and Perl formulating policy at the behest of our leaders the credentials are obviously not predictive of great ideas. One has to be able to learn from the didactic experience, most of all how to think clearly and use common sense–I see mostly flim-flam substituting for the latter. “Great minds” serving in government also ought to approach every problem from the prospective of what is best for most of the citizens of this country, not just a privileged few; also what is best over the long term and not just the short.

          Whether you have advanced degrees or not, Backwards, your contributions are invariably insightful, well-constructed and as articulate as most dissertations I’ve reviewed. From what I surmise, most of the posters you converse or debate with here are accomplished professionals. They write like it and think like it. Most must be professors, lawyers, journalists, government analysts and such. Sure, some are trolls, but even they are generally resourceful trolls who have mastered the use of polysyllabic words and complex sentence structure. I can recognise intelligence, having worked in close proximity to it all of my professional career. So, I will thank you for your compliments but also for your quality contributions, sir.

          As to the overarching problem of immigration in general, I fully realise and have pointed up myself that we live in a world of finite resources which are rapidly being depleted. Everyone who says that our country, or any “rich” country, cannot afford open borders with no constraints upon who is allowed to immigrate is absolutely correct. “Peak” everything and “lifeboat ethics” will soon be upon us. I know you don’t want to deprive that son you mentioned of the best future possible that does not onerously exploit other peoples. Americans are, in fact, among the peoples who have achieved zero or negative reproduction rates and negating that virtue by taking in unlimited dead weight that will just consume without producing will be detrimental to the future of our present citizenry.

          There are many related issues which Tucker may have touched upon (I did not hear his comments), including H-1B visas, which help corporations keep their costs low but undermine employment opportunities for trained Americans, educated and re-educated at their own expense. It is only reasonable to regulate immigration such that it does not degrade the quality of life for those of us already here, trying to adjust to ever changing job markets, simply to accommodate big Capital or play the role of global Santa Claus (though I suspect there is really little danger of the latter). Sadly, many Americans buy into the propaganda that this country does subsidize the world with “foreign aid,” but that mostly comes back as profits for the Military Industrial Complex or is simply bribery money into the pockets of foreign dictators.

          I found the Central Americans to be in a special category of would-be immigrants as their distress is, in many cases, of “our” (Washington’s) making. Without the wars we ginned up and death squads we marshaled in their countries they might well be living happy normal lives now. So, it’s not just “altruism” that we owe them but legal and moral “compensation.” I’ve already detailed how every case must be vetted, so no need to rehash that. Such a policy in this case would also be important as a lesson for this country to be learned in legal liability surrounding the reckless aggressive actions we routinely task our military, spooks and special ops. Can you imagine what the costs might be if someday Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and other countries we have invaded and totally wrecked could get a judgement against this country in an International Court? What we (morally) owe them for reconstruction alone must amount to trillions of dollars. Germany’s reparations after WWI would pale in comparison. Countries are still after Germany for reparations subsequent to WWII. America’s recent gorilla act on the world is not going to be forgotten by the victims. It will be used as leverage against us when fortunes change. Time to stop making so many enemies.

          • backwardsevolution
            May 10, 2018 at 01:24

            Realist – thank you very much for your kind words. A compliment coming from someone like you really means a lot to me. The fact that you took the time to say that speaks volumes about you – a kind-hearted, benevolent teacher through and through. I bet you were a wonderful instructor! We get to have you now, and we’re all made wiser because of your presence. Thank you, Realist.

            I agree with your post. I remember reading a good article years ago about a fellow (he may have been a minister or maybe Peace Corps) who went down to Central America to try to help the people there. He did everything he could to try to make their lives better, improve their conditions, but they didn’t seem to care about any of it. They weren’t interested in setting up a new water system, etc. He felt like he was beating his head against a wall, and after a few years he eventually came home.

            After reading the article, I wondered why the people weren’t interested in “our” way of life. I came to the conclusion that they were happy the way they were. They were more interested in family, friends, neighborhood, village, more interested in social things. Kind of like the West “used” to be before capitalism turned everything into a commodity. I ended up thinking they were a lot smarter than us.

            In a way, I hope that Central America does maintain a simpler kind of life because I think if they mimic us, it will probably destroy their culture. We always think we know best, that if the world isn’t living like us, we have to save them. Maybe they don’t want or need saving. So we go down there with our NGO’s and do-gooders and convince the peasants to come North to where they’ll really start living, or so they think, and then they end up losing what is so precious about them. I wonder if the exchange is worth it.

            Now, if they are fleeing drug wars, that’s one thing. But if it’s just us bringing them in so that they can send money back home, creating more consumers for corporate profits (which is what I suspect a lot of this is about), then that’s a bad thing.

            Good talking to you, Realist.

    • Skip Scott
      May 9, 2018 at 09:48


      I am sure there is a lot of truth in what you say regarding the taking of refugees by Europe to provide cheap labor and undermine European culture, and ultimately national sovereignty. However, I also believe that we have meddled in Africa, and although I am no historian, I am aware that the CIA was complicit in the murder of Patrice Lumumba in the Democratic republic of the Congo in 1961. And as for Gaddafi, I suspect his downfall was orchestrated to stop his vision of a pan African currency, which may have led to more economic development in neighboring countries.

      I know that we cannot take in an infinite number of refugees, but I think it is incumbent upon us to arrest the forces of globalization, and to learn to wage peace in a multi-polar world. We could do a lot of good and raise the standard of living around the world if we would use our imaginations and a fraction of the resources currently used for violence and destruction.

      Thanks both to you and Realist for your excellent comments. I learn something coming to CN almost every day.

      • backwardsevolution
        May 10, 2018 at 01:46

        Skip Scott – yes, the U.S. has meddled all over Africa, all over the whole world. The countries they haven’t touched are the ones who have decided to “play ball”. The main point I was trying to make is it isn’t the average American who has made these choices, and yet they (and the people in foreign countries) are the ones who must suffer with the costs and the consequences of the neocon/corporate coups and wars. Even if the average American could find Iran on a map, and even if they knew the whole truth and decided to stage a mass protest, they’d probably be pepper-sprayed and jailed, their leaders would be called “conspiracy theorists”, and the whole thing would be wrapped up in about two minutes on CNN that evening.

        You are right about globalization. This is what needs to end. We are witnessing the wholesale destruction of nation-states, and weak nation-states can’t fight back. They know this. Bringing in disparate groups of people serves to divide and conquer a country without even firing a shot, and it’s silent and done behind the scenes. The elite who are behind this globalization need to be identified and…..I don’t know what should be done, actually. I just know they need to be stopped.

        You’ve got a good heart, Skip Scott. I saw you were reading “Bleak House” by my favorite author, Dickens. I like him for his sense of humor, his insight re people’s behavior, and his ability to see both sides of an argument. I especially liked “Little Dorrit” and “Dombey & Son”.

    • Robbi Gomes
      May 11, 2018 at 15:54

      Absolutely correct but I think in the case of the U.S. the democrats need a new voting block–– that is their true altruism. They are working for votes.

    • artichoke
      May 13, 2018 at 21:43

      It’s hard to believe that corporations want those foreign-speaking people who don’t adapt well, and their children don’t adapt well either even after receiving a full childhood education in Europe. The productivity argument there doesn’t make sense. It seems to be a movement for cultural change.

  7. lizzie dw
    May 8, 2018 at 11:18

    They are not Americans. They have no legal rights.

    • Robbi Gomes
      May 12, 2018 at 02:48

      California has millions of illegal aliens voting. That’s the “popular vote” advantage Hillary got. Go on this cal. govt site to see how easy illegals can vote:

      The state requires, as a last resort, the last 4 numbers of your s.s. card. That’s it! So you file online say your name is Manuel Garcia or some other common hispanic name, and say the last four numbers of your s.s. card are 4578 for example, and presto you can vote!

  8. Nop
    May 8, 2018 at 09:18

    This article is crap propaganda, unworthy of Consortium.
    The caravan people are not simply fleeing troubles in their homelands. Walking ALL THE WAY THROUGH MEXICO without making a claim there disqualifies them from refugee status and reveals their true motivations are something else.

    • Realist
      May 8, 2018 at 15:54

      Maybe they feel that Mexico is not responsible and unlikely to redress their problems, but that the government of the United States does have a legal responsibility towards them for creating the environment that has caused them so much grief.

      Or, perhaps you agree with the addled thinking that it’s right and proper to hold Iran responsible for the actions of Saudi Arabians in 9-11. Once you embrace that philosophy, I can see your advocacy of making Mexico pay for the sins of Washington.

      • artichoke
        May 13, 2018 at 21:45

        They are not entitled to a redress of their problems, just a relief from certain specified problems in the first country they cross that could serve. They don’t have to like Mexico or feel it’s best for them; that isn’t the question. As for the argument that it’s all the fault of the United States, we do get blamed for everything. We also provided them a lot of opportunity for improved standard of living.

  9. backwardsevolution
    May 8, 2018 at 02:24

    Let’s look at this situation critically. If I were fleeing persecution or fleeing for my life, I’d drop down on my knees in the first country I could get to, kiss the ground, and ask for asylum. This is not what happened.

    “Pueblo Sin Fronteras, a group that has accompanied migrants and refugees on their journeys for 15 years…”

    These people are being escorted to the U.S. border and have been for the past 15 years. This, no doubt, is making it easier for these people to leave their countries. They are practically being invited to leave. Who wouldn’t go for it?

    I also read another good article about how Africans were taking flights into Mexico in order to then skip across the U.S. border. The article said the Mexicans did not want them and made sure they headed north. These Africans can now afford the flights as their relatives, who are currently in the U.S., send them the money.

    Billions want to come. They’re mostly all nice and they all want the best for their families. How many do you want?

  10. Food For Thought
    May 7, 2018 at 20:45

    Skip Scott

    I was not saying / advocating UBI at all, which is why I gave the Monopoly / company store example. (It has been proposed by some, because income inequality is obviously getting out of hand.) Nor I was saying there was or was not maliciousness, just the fact that if you live in a town where you own 5 hotels and everyone else owns 1, you will accumulate wealth faster than your neighbors. (It is going to happen mathematically, absent any motivation.) The only thing I was pointing out, was that in the age of multi-national corporations, and weakened nation states, the old methods of curtailing income inequality can and are being circumvented. For “humanitarian reasons”, open borders and global citizenship might be a great thing, depending on your POV – I was just pointing out that while disadvantaged people are benefiting, there is a set of players, with ulterior motivations that exploit these freedoms as well. Whether you see that as a good or bad thing – I leave that up to you to decide – just highlighting the issue was all. Sorry to have offended.

    • backwardsevolution
      May 8, 2018 at 02:06

      Food for Thought – that’s how I understood your post. Please see my response down below.

    • Skip Scott
      May 8, 2018 at 07:12

      Food for thought-

      Sorry I misunderstood your comment as defending these trends, rather than just pointing them out. I think the obvious way to regain strong Nation States is to get the money out of politics. In fact, one of the ways I see this as possible is to eliminate corporate taxes, but also eliminate corporate lobbying, and publicly fund campaigns. No taxation and no representation. Government by the people makes the rules, and corporations follow those rules. The money would pass through to share holders, wages, and growth, and then taxed. There would be no benefit in corporations offshoring capital. Our government could do bi-lateral trade agreements with countries that respect workers and the environment, and use those bilateral agreements to entice other countries to adopt similar practices.

  11. Jake G
    May 7, 2018 at 13:40

    Thats the same argumentation Merkel and her followers used in 2015.
    Where has it brought them and the whole of Europe? Ask the victims of every day immigrant crimes, incl. rape and murder, which of course arent mentioned in the MSM anymore, except maybe some regional papers, and even them are starting to feel the force of PC.

    • Robbi Gomes
      May 11, 2018 at 16:00

      In Germany when a crime is committed––unless it’s a act of terrorism––they don’t even mention the nationality or citizenship of the criminal. That would be “racist!” Yet look at the crime statistics before and after the gigantic Muslim migration. It’s shocking how radically it has risen especially rape, knife stabbings, and brutal beatings.

  12. May 7, 2018 at 12:57

    Mild-Fac, your comment to GMC goes only so far as to assume what GMC’s stance is, GMC is referring to divisive strategy, I think. The moneyed and their puppets in politics always know that divide-and-conquer works every time or place. Which is why I made my previous comment, I smell something fishy here and I’m not unsympathethic to immigrants but take the position that globalism of multinational corporations has not benefitted the American middle class and has led to exploitation wherever they get a foothold. I think GNC said the 1965 immigration act was lobbied heavily to break down cultural cohesion; he mentioned Schumer and Israel but I suspect multinationals, too.

    So long as the American people, or those of any country, do not understand divide-and-conquer strategies played on them, they will lose every time. With Trump, it looks like bigtime, because people are squabbling over almost anything! Tucker Carlson on Fox, who states support for the middle class, never touches the issue of why immigrants are coming due to US/western meddling and invasions of other countries. I used to appreciate his criticism of blaming Russia, but it is irksome to hear his harping on immigrants without touching the reasons why they’re coming.

  13. Mild -ly- Facetious
    May 7, 2018 at 11:54

    To Wit: Donald Trump tweeted on April 23 that he ordered the Department of Homeland Security “not to let these large Caravans of people into our Country,” adding, “It is a disgrace.”

    To Wit:Unsurprisingly, Trump demonstrated no compassion for those who made the dangerous trip by bus, train and on foot to escape persecution in their home countries, referring to them as “this problem.” On April 3, he tweeted, “The big Caravan of People from Honduras … had better be stopped before it gets there.” The caravan asylum seekers were “openly defying our border,” Trump tweeted on April 30, and wrote in a fundraising email to his supporters on April 26, “We need a strong, impenetrable WALL that will end this problem once and for all.”

    Trump’s verbal attacks on the asylum seekers did not occur in a vacuum. From instituting the Muslim Ban to attempting to end the DACA program, he has consistently appealed to his base by pursuing racist, nativist immigration policies.

    Clearly, he Trump has Great Distain for the Gamma, Delta, and especially Epsilons of this world.

  14. Radical Pragmatist
    May 7, 2018 at 10:33

    These charges of “racism” are actually backhanded diversions away from common sense. Standard PC brow beating to preclude rational discussion of the issue.

    If migrants from Central America can pass through Mexico to claim asylum in the U.S. based on pathological political conditions in their home countries, that sets the standard for admittance. By extension then, 90% of Africans could make the same claims. Because the countries of Africa are political basket cases. The African population is exploding. What happens when TENS OF MILLIONS of Africans seek to claim asylum in the West, (including the U.S.)? If hundreds of Central Americans are entitled, why not millions of Africans?

    Escaping the problem does NOTHING to solve the problem. It’s not like political dysfunction is baked into Central American culture. The easiest solution to the Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador problem is to steer those countries into acting like their quiet, peaceful neighbor Costa Rica.

    Of course the U.S. Global Cop Gorilla wrecks everything it touches, so it should not be leading transformation efforts in the Central American countries that are busted. But some Western Hemisphere stakeholders should step up and help address the root causes of those migrations.

    • Jeff
      May 7, 2018 at 11:25

      You’re right, escaping the problem does nothing to solve the problem but you’ve got a lotta damn gall trying to tell these people what to do when you were the proximate cause of their problem in the first place. Many are from Guatemala where our “peace prize” president engineered a coup of the government. It’s like Colin Powell said about Iraq, the Pottery Barn rule, you break it, you own it. So we own this problem, not some imaginary “Western Hemisphere stakeholders” whoever the hell they are. We’re the ones that mined Nicaragua’s ports and funded the Contras and fomented coups in a half dozen Central and South American countries.

      The reason that Costa Rica is a quiet, peaceful nation is that the Ticos abolished their military in 1948. So there’s nobody for the US to go to when we want to put a right wing junta in place. Plus, it’s very small.

      • Radical Pragmatist
        May 7, 2018 at 13:43

        Re: “you were the proximate cause of their problem in the first place.”

        “I” was the proximate cause? Talk about gall. How those countries got wrecked is a sunk cost. And sunk costs are irrelevant when building future value. A strategy of open-ended immigration into the U.S. is worse than no strategy at all.

        Somebody has to put a stake in the ground and help those countries do the heavy lifting of constructing political stable environments.

        Calling for feel good immigration in perpetuity as a virtue signaling salve for liberal guilt is a cheap grace stunt and nothing more.

        • Realist
          May 7, 2018 at 16:11

          “Somebody has to put a stake in the ground and help those countries do the heavy lifting of constructing political stable environments.”

          Who with the wherewithal to undertake such a task has even the slightest inclination to do so, either in the private or public sectors, when our own economy is left to rot and the middle class standard of living inexorably erodes? No private investors or public policies (like NAFTA) are capable of transforming our neighbors to the South or were ever intended to do so. Any meddling we do there is strictly for someone’s benefit here. (And before anyone says “World Bank” or “IMF,” we all ought to know that is just a neoliberal scam to strip third world countries of title to their own resources and bury them in perpetual debt. Its true role is so blatant, we’ve seen it used to pick clean even European countries like Greece and Ukraine.)

          “Calling for feel good immigration in perpetuity as a virtue signaling salve for liberal guilt is a cheap grace stunt and nothing more.”

          Stop meddling in the affairs of these countries, especially propping up oppressive military juntas, essentially to protect American neocolonial economic investments and the cause of one’s “liberal” guilt will eventually dissipate. But it will take time for any of these countries to pull themselves up after Daddy Warbucks exits.
          As for NOW, existence itself has been made precarious for people down there because of actions taken by the rich and powerful up here. Sending them back to their deaths is not exactly humane no matter how beneficial to the debit sheet.

          • Radical Pragmatist
            May 7, 2018 at 16:37

            Well duh…? Being against mindless immigration and U.S. support for lunatic autocrats are not disjoint.

            The Leftist response to anything is to throw money at the pathologies and accept perpetual learned helplessness. When exactly would this asylum immigration end? When those countries are completely depopulated?

            Interestingly, the Chinese are actively investing in Central and South America. I.e., in infrastructure and business. And not just throwing weapons at the Goon Dictators that is the U.S. M.O.

            China ain’t perfect, but it may be a better source of aid than the sclerotic, cronied-up World Bank and IMF.

          • Realist
            May 7, 2018 at 16:58

            You seem to assume that the cases wouldn’t be decided on the basis of merit… cause and effect. Do the refugee’s problems stem from the social upheaval caused by American interference in their country? Are they truly threatened or simply looking for greener pastures? These things were all discussed in the original piece. It is not impossible to decide these things without simply opening our borders to all comers as you imply to be the logical consequence. And, even if the refugees do not qualify for entry into the United States, who’s to say we shouldn’t help them find placement in some other country of refuge before summarily dumping them off a plane back in San Salvador. You know, it might not take a lot of effort to be just a little humane.

            As for the Chinese, good on them. Since their actions may be seen as mitigating the consequences of our imperious shoot-em-up policies, perhaps we should stop bellyaching about everything they do as interfering and threatening to our designs.

            Oh, and the blah, blah, blah about “leftists” and “throwing money” has zero relevance to anything I said. Not appreciated.

      • LarcoMarco
        May 7, 2018 at 19:36

        Undoubtedly, the Ticos enjoy their peace and quiet, which serves as a magnet for USA ex-pats. However, the CR elite have managed to undermine elections and sign off on CAFTA.

      • LarcoMarco
        May 7, 2018 at 19:40

        It was Honduras where our “peace prize” president engineered a coup of the government. Guatemala was taken out by a CIA-created coup under Eisenhower.

      • Nop
        May 8, 2018 at 09:29

        Who do you mean “we”?
        Did you vote for a coup in Guatemala?

    • Mild -ly- Facetious
      May 7, 2018 at 12:13

      Radical Pragmatist “If migrants from Central America can pass through Mexico to claim asylum in the U.S. based on pathological political conditions in their home countries, that sets the standard for admittance. By extension then, 90% of Africans could make the same claims.”

      A very basic falsehood to your statement/premise lies in the fundamental geographic fact Central Americans have a Land Route to the US whereas, Africans (whom were forcibly transported across the vast ATLANTIC OCEAN – FYI) have no such available access to our shores.

      • Radical Pragmatist
        May 7, 2018 at 16:08

        Look, with the asylum argument, in for a penny, in for a pound. Under the rubric of open borders for asylum seekers escaping political pathologies, how they get here should be irrelevant.

        If 5,000 Africans are packed into a cargo vessel that attempts to dock at a U.S. port, the open border logic would mandate that the ship be allowed to dock and the migrants be admitted.

        In other words, if the border at Mexico should be open, then access to all points in the U.S. should be open to migrants making the same claim as those seeking to enter from Mexico. Because who is to say that the claims by the Africans are any less valid than the claims from the Central Americans?

        What gets me is that common sense and rational thinking are completely rejected when they don’t comport with stakeholder biases. BTW, on both the Left and the Right.

        • Realist
          May 7, 2018 at 16:39

          If we didn’t send our military to their country to kill people, break things, and disrupt their entire society, those hypothetical 5,000 Africans in the container ship probably would have less actionable claims than the Salvadorans and Hondurans looking for succor from the El Norte that demolished their homelands for dubious reasons. We didn’t feel guilt over whom we sent back to Nazi Germany on the eve of World War II. The Africans would get a ticket back to Rwanda or wherever. But, keep up the secret military adventures in Mali and Niger and perhaps we will be incurring some moral (and fiduciary) responsibility for what happens to those people.

          If you were a Libyan, chances are you’d feel that you were owed something by NATO for destroying the highest standard of living in all Africa just to snuff Gaddaffi. One day you’ve got free education, free medical care, great infrastructure and government-subsidized investment opportunities, the next day you’ve got nothing but bandits trying to shoot you and steal everything you have. We’re not talking “altruism” in this case, but pure unadulterated “responsibility.” International law (the Geneva Conventions for one) recognizes the responsibility of the invader to stabilise an occupied country and provide for the needs of its people. If Washington doesn’t want to provide for the people it wars against, it shouldn’t repeatedly stick its snoot in and try to control everything everywhere.

          • Nop
            May 8, 2018 at 09:35

            Stop saying “we”. It is incorrect and muddies the waters. The actions of the plutocracy and its military industrial complex are not “ours”.

          • Realist
            May 8, 2018 at 15:33

            Come on. The use is common convention. Why do you think I’m complaining, because I agree with the policies of “our” country?

  15. GMC
    May 7, 2018 at 10:05

    The immigration laws have been a nightmare since the 1965 open immigration laws were enacted. After that, immigrants were coming in by the millions { non-vetted millions } and since the Open Immigration laws were heavily pushed by C Schumer and the Jewish lobby – it looks like it was a plan to destroy the { vetted } European culture that made up 50 to 60% of the US. The US is in trouble and that was the Plan — a long time ago. But very few wanted to expose or take a courageous stand – for the good of the Country. Pravda.

    • Mild -ly- Facetious
      May 7, 2018 at 12:28

      GMC — “it looks like it was a plan to destroy the { vetted } European culture that made up 50 to 60% of the US. The US is in trouble and that was the Plan — a long time ago. But very few wanted to expose or take a courageous stand – for the good of the Country.”

      Looks like you’re deeply tied to the cause of “REAL AMERICANS” —
      Huxley’s “ALPHA’S and BETA’S” —
      and the Anglo-Saxon OWNERSHIP SOCIETY… .

  16. Mild -ly- Facetious
    May 7, 2018 at 09:39

    Joe Tedesky — “Only until the U.S. quits it’s covert campaign to deny Central & South America it’s well deserved people’s democracy, and until then U.S. borders will never be without fleeing refugees.”

    You hit the proverbial nail squarely on the head, Joe.

    • Joe Tedesky
      May 7, 2018 at 15:06

      Facetious, once again I must thank you for helping me to make my point.

      It is sad, that many of us humans forget to be human. Your article goes to the depth of how hard nosed we Americans can be to immigrant children. This coming from a nation which swears to uphold freedom and democracy, and everything that’s right about mankind. Wow, talk about propaganda, and group think.

      Thanks again Facetious. Joe

  17. May 7, 2018 at 08:56

    Trump is a plutocrat elitist supported by white supremacists and others in the US who have little or no understanding that they are being used by elitists. Notwithstanding my sympathy and anyone else’s for the precarious living conditions of these migrants in their own countries, much of which is created by elitists and our own meddling CIA, I do wonder about intentions and timing of this caravan event. There are numerous websites about Soros’ funding of groups connected to the caravan. With the increasingly fractious and polarized American society since Trump’s election, is it possible a “color revolution” is being set up for the American people? The bankers are waiting in the wings for the kill.

  18. mike k
    May 7, 2018 at 07:50

    Trump relied on the racist votes to get elected: it worked, so he is still playing that card. What is really discouraging is that there is such widespread support for this policy in the still racist American population. Trump is a charter member of the Whites Only party. Trump is basically a fascist white supremacist.

  19. Realist
    May 7, 2018 at 02:38

    Since Washington has caused the turmoil in these three countries, as well as in other countries of Central America like Nicaragua and Panama, going back to Reagan–indeed throughout the 20th century, it bears some responsibility for seeing that these refugees from our cruel foreign policy can find a home somewhere free from persecution.

    If there is truly no room at the American inn for them, we must help them find other places to settle. Are there no countries in all of Latin America that would welcome them? Even left leaning countries like Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia or Ecuador? They are looking for respite from violence, not necessarily lives of luxury. Here is one more chance for Canada to show that it is (or isn’t) morally superior to the United States by taking in legitimate peaceable refugees from persecution. And Canada is still underpopulated. So is Russia, perhaps Putin would cut some of these people a break.

    Certainly they must all be screened to weed out the dangerous gang members that are mixed in with the rest. Reportedly the gang violence is so bad that many of these hardened criminals would probably prefer to live in an American prison than to be deported back to the Scheißlöcher from which they’ve fled. Sadly, those are the ones most able to illegally sneak into the United States.

    • Nop
      May 8, 2018 at 09:48

      You make at least two problematic assumptions:

      1) that the People should be willing to bear the costs of crimes by an unaccountable government in Washington


      2) that migrants are not economically motivated.

      • Realist
        May 8, 2018 at 15:46

        No, I don’t make the assumptions that you assume I make.

        I’ve posted several statements regarding this piece, and in one I distinctly said “Are they truly threatened or simply looking for greener pastures?” as an issue that needs to be resolved in every individual case before a migrant is allowed into our country. I’m not going to recapitulate every point in each response… or you would complain about that.

        I don’t believe the common people would be pleased to foot the bill, which is why so many are complaining about allowing in migrants some of whom have clearly been damaged by the national policies of “our” country. The reality is that the government will use “our” money to do whatever they please, which is usually something decided by and benefiting the rich and powerful. Maybe you know how to change that?

  20. Joe Tedesky
    May 7, 2018 at 01:46

    Only until the U.S. quits it’s covert campaign to deny Central & South America it’s well deserved people’s democracy, and until then U.S. borders will never be without fleeing refugees. These people caravaning to the U.S. aren’t as much immigrants as they are refugees from American Shock Doctrine. If more Americans were to even know of this condition of American interference then that many more Americans would only open up their hearts to aid with humanitarian relief.

    The problem here, is the truth is unknown to those who vote for American political candidates. Thank our MSM, for their consequential omissions, then put another brick in the wall.

    • Realist
      May 7, 2018 at 03:03

      I think the problem is mostly unknown by Americans because the situation has been misrepresented in our media for ages, recently going back to all the civil wars and death squads in Central America fomented during the 80’s, but also notoriously described by Smedly Butler in his book “War is a Racket,” published in 1935 but describing harsh American colonialism throughout Latin America from the earliest days of the 20th century. What was Castro but a rare successful rebellion against American imperialism? The victims of Bautista got little sympathy from us Yanquis, but opponents of the Castro government can still waltz across our border and receive immediate permanent residence, all because of some rigid political ideology that is beyond the ken of landless peons fleeing local persecution. So they should just cowboy up and accept their death sentences because someone is afraid they will some day be given citizenship and vote for Democrats just as duplicitous as Republicans? Everything is always uglier and more complex than our media relates to us, Joe.

      • Joe Tedesky
        May 7, 2018 at 08:39

        On top of that our American history begins with us kicking out the empirical master of our colonial land. Talk about becoming what you hate, there is no better example.

    • Greg Driscoll
      May 7, 2018 at 10:48

      Thanks, Joe Tedesky, for pointing out the context in which much of the immigration into this country from the south is happening. This immigration is another form of “blowback” resulting from our government’s largely illegal and immoral OVERT & COVERT treatment of Central & South American people for over a century.

      • Joe Tedesky
        May 7, 2018 at 11:00

        Thanks for supporting my position, having your experienced agreement means a lot. Thanks again Greg. Joe

  21. backwardsevolution
    May 7, 2018 at 01:23

    I thought that refugees seeking asylum were supposed to apply for asylum in the first country they crossed into. Why aren’t they applying in Mexico? Mexico lets the caravan cross their whole country, all 2,000 miles, and yet it doesn’t intervene on behalf of these people? Is Mexico xenophobic?

    • Skip Scott
      May 7, 2018 at 07:40


      That is a very good point. I suspect they want to come to the USA for the improved economic opportunity as well as seeking refuge from violence. I think our government bears responsibility for their circumstance because of our interference in their politics, and the economic opportunity being here instead of in their home country is due to that interference.

      Being in Arizona, I have a lot of Mexican friends. They are, by and large, wonderful, hard working people who value family and do their best to raise their kids to be productive and respectful. I have no doubt that if I found myself in their shoes, I would do whatever it took to escape the violence and try to provide economic and educational opportunity for my kids.

      • Rohit
        May 7, 2018 at 08:02

        The difficulty is that practically every country on the planet has a lower per capita income than the US and the US simply does not have the capacity to take all of them. The problem is not these particular people but the precedent which would be set. And of course it is legitimate to ask why they did not seek asylum first in Mexico.

        Anyway, it is Trump’s problem and I have no confidence that he will address it in a sensible manner. There is an enormous number of Americans who are sympathetic to illegal immigration and this IS a political problem for Trump which he does not improve by the way he talks.

        • Skip Scott
          May 7, 2018 at 09:11

          The Mexican economy offers them no opportunity. Since people need to eat to live, it is obvious why they do not seek asylum in Mexico.

          Globalism has caused all this, and the continued prosperity of the 1 pct. is dependent on Globalism. Meanwhile the middle class in the USA is collapsing, and third world countries offer their citizenry no opportunities.

          The refugees we are talking about are just trying to get into the bracket represented by the little red dot in Texas.

          • Food For Thought
            May 7, 2018 at 10:16

            The inequality that is happening in the world is simply a mathematical outcome, it is not
            malicious, in the sense that it is/ was planned by someone:

            See video below (2 mins & 49 seconds), worth the time:

            The 80-20 Rule Explained (Pareto Principle)


            Cerca 1900, during the Robber Baron Age, when the United States was last experiencing this kind of income inequality, Progressives came up with the following (brilliant) solutions:

            1] High Corporate Taxes
            2] Graduated Income Tax
            3] Estate Tax
            4] Tax on Worldwide Income
            5] Anti-Monopoly / Anti-Trust Laws
            6] Strict Banking Regulation.

            However, that was an era in which we had strong Nation States, now that has reversed. Examples:

            These 25 Companies Are More Powerful Than Many Countries


            I was Zuckerberg’s speechwriter. “Companies over countries” was his early motto.


            Essentially, there is no means of breaking up those large paperclip chains anymore (refered to in the video above). Companies and individuals, through open borders, “global citizenship” and international banking can just move around to wherever they get the best deal. (Trump Tax cuts are evidence of this – a race to the bottom.)

            One of the solutions to this is Universal Basic Income. It might work, but it has this analogous problem:

            If you lost at the game of Monopoly (went bankrupt), would you continue to play the game, if you were given $500 every turn to spend, but could never own any properties or have a chance of winning the game?

            Furthermore, is globalization really about humanitarian open borders for refugees? Or really about open borders for corporations and the wealthy?

            Food for thought….

          • Realist
            May 7, 2018 at 15:19

            I think your food for thought explains perfectly well why these people, and many others, have no food for their bellies.

            It’s so ironic, is it not, that most of my lifetime has been spent listening to hardcore fiscal neoliberal uber-capitalists calling themselves conservatives, patriots, self-made men, free traders, job providers and heroes preach to the middle class that all those progressive policies instituted in the early 20th century, which you itemized so nicely, should be abolished for the good of the masses and in the name of fairness. The middle class fell for it and became the victims (after all, we constantly talk about the extinction of the middle class, not the poor) while only the wealthy made out like bandits.

          • Skip Scott
            May 7, 2018 at 19:52


            Thanks for your reply to Food. I saw his BS earlier, but sometimes I grow weary. I suppose to his way of thinking we should just roll over and let corporations rule the whole planet. His “Universal Basic Income” proposal sounds like our wannabe master’s ultimate realization that you have to feed your slaves if you want them to continue to live and serve.
            Their notion of “fairness” is “winner take all”. That little red dot that the forty percent own is just too damn big! But of course there is no maliciousness involved, it’s just a simple mathematical outcome. We should all just stand around and wait to get trickled on.

          • backwardsevolution
            May 8, 2018 at 02:02

            I must have misread Food for Thought’s points, because I took him to mean that these were good things:

            1] High Corporate Taxes
            2] Graduated Income Tax
            3] Estate Tax
            4] Tax on Worldwide Income
            5] Anti-Monopoly / Anti-Trust Laws
            6] Strict Banking Regulation

            I’ve got to say I agree with him here. Trump lowered corporate taxes because he was trying to bring the corporate money back home and put it to work to provide jobs. We’ll see how that works out; too soon to tell yet. The anti-monopoly and anti-trust laws are still on the books, but they’re not being enforced. They must be. The medical, media and banking establishments must be broken up. Talk about monopolies!

            I’d probably agree that the Pareto Principle is alive and well at the moment, but ONLY because the above restrictions have been shredded. I don’t agree, though, that it just happened accidentally. The Telecommunications Act of 1996, Glass-Steagall, the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, NAFTA, globalization, etc. were all heavily lobbied for. It was all very intentional. The new Robber Barons have arrived.

            “Furthermore, is globalization really about humanitarian open borders for refugees? Or really about open borders for corporations and the wealthy?”

            I’m going to pick Door No. 2 on that one.

      • backwardsevolution
        May 8, 2018 at 01:43

        Skip Scott – most immigrants are nice, Skip. Most people are good and want to look after their families. That’s true everywhere in the world. The question is: how many do you want? Because they’d all like to come, and then pretty soon the U.S. will look like the country they left. It’s heading that way now.

        It’s not a matter of being “mean”. It’s a matter of survival for your country, your own citizens who are quickly slipping from the middle class to the lower class. 30,000 to 40,000 are offing themselves every year.

        Thanks, Skip.

        • Skip Scott
          May 8, 2018 at 07:27

          Hi B.E.-

          The driving force behind the large numbers of refugees flooding Europe’s and our borders is the history of our interference in those countries politics, a la John Perkins’ “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man”, The PNAC, and the Yinon plan. We need to revolt against the power structure that allows for those policies. I’m sure the refugees would rather stay at home in their own country, with their own language and culture, if they could only live in peace and have economic and educational opportunities.

          BTW, and slightly off topic, my Mexican friends happen to be nearly all legal residents. Something few Americans realize is that there are Mexican families in the Southwest whose ancestors were here before Arizona and New Mexico became states. Almost all are bilingual, and proud citizens.

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