All eyes in the US are currently on a reportedly the largest on record. The so-called ‘migrant caravan’ has seen roughly 7,200 people come together to avoid abuse on the dangerous journey towards the US border. And if they arrive, few are likely to remain in the US after facing “sluggish bureaucracy or hard-line enforcement” from Donald Trump’s government.of people from Central America, which is
This all comes just before important midterm elections in the US. So the right-wing media has exploded with lies and fearmongering about this caravan of people fleeing extreme poverty and violence. As has social media. And Trump has egged them all on. But there’s one fundamental truth these powerful chauvinist forces will never tell us: that this crisis is of their own making.
The US must take responsibility for its actions
As The Canary reported in detail on 17 October, US imperialism has a long history in Honduras (where local activists started the ‘migrant caravan’). And Washington’s support for a right-wing coup in 2009 was just the latest example of US disinterest in Honduran democracy and human rights. Because privatisation, repression, crime, and extreme poverty soon plagued the country; but the US propped up the coup regime, funding it generously. Emigration was a completely logical consequence.
And Honduras is not alone. US interference there fits neatly into a story of countless CIA operations in Latin America, supporting coups and brutal right-wing dictatorships, and of vicious destabilisation campaigns which violated international law. Today, Latin American countries the US disagrees with (because of their efforts to increase equality and social justice) face sanctions, smears, and other attacks; all while repressive political orders in countries friendly to the US (like Colombia and Mexico) receive support. In this environment, it’s no surprise that most of the world’s worst countries for workers’ rights are US allies.
These are the factors pushing people to flee from their countries. But there are also factors pulling them to the US. As CNBC insisted in 2017, there is massive demand for immigrant labour in the US (in jobs that Americans don’t want); the number of visas the government gives, however, is nowhere near enough. Immigrant workers are, it said, an “essential component of the agricultural business model”.
In short, if the US wants to bring illegal immigration to a near halt, there are two simple things it needs to do:
- Stop interfering and undermining democracy in Latin America.
- Issue an appropriate number of accessible visas.
A right-wing field day – completely devoid of relevant context
Not a shocker, but the top performing stories containing "caravan" on Facebook in the last 24 hours come from:
1. Fox News (also the #1 performing link overall)
3. Fox News
4. Ben Shapiro
5. Daily Caller
6. Ben Shapiro
7. Daily Caller
8. News & Guts
— Kevin Roose (@kevinroose) October 23, 2018
And the Trump administration hasn’t been far behind. Because as usual, Trump is pushing conspiracy theories; suggesting people in the migrant caravan are criminals, “Middle Eastern”, or puppets of the Democratic Party:
As the US-bound migrant caravan continues to swell in numbers, President Trump has a number of ideas of where they came from: MS-13, Middle East, the Democrats… pic.twitter.com/uGgWGwb63K
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) October 23, 2018
There’s no proof of anything. But there could very well be.
When all else failed, the president said “blame the Democrats”. But for anyone who looks into the roots of the crisis, it’s clear where the blame lies. And that’s right at the door of US imperialism.
– Join The Canary so we can keep holding the powerful to account.
Featured image via screenshot
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?