The Statue of Liberty has the inscription, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” My family has personally benefited from her hospitality: we immigrated from a poverty-stricken country in Latin America. However, I—and others on the right—am concerned about the current situation with the caravan. I acknowledge that we need to allow people to apply for asylum from their native countries, but how do we respond to the caravan approaching the border?
While I don’t agree with every action or statement the president has said or done, I do agree with his stance that the caravan poses a threat to national security. There are legitimate issues presented by simply allowing the entire caravan to enter. The Department of Homeland Security reported that there are over 270 known criminals including known gang members in the caravan and General O’Shaughnessy, Commander of U.S. Northern Command, has said that there is “violence coming out of the caravan”; therefore, we cannot simply allow all of the migrants in the caravan to enter with no scrutiny, seeing that the caravan at large poses a legitimate threat to national security.
I believe that we should increase the political asylum program so that those in dire need can apply and seek refuge in this country after appropriate vetting because we are a nation of immigrants and we should welcome all with open arms. However, we must acknowledge the reality that American society cannot accommodate for every single individual wanting to immigrate into this country. While it is not illegal to apply for asylum at the border, we have to acknowledge the logistical nightmare that is trying to process every member of the caravan. We need to increase our resources in embassies in Central America and Mexico so that we won’t end up with a scenario similar to that of April 2018 that separated families at the border.
While the question we are now asking is what to do with the caravan, at some point we need to address why people felt compelled to be in the caravan and escape their native countries in the first place, and how to make the lives of those living in Central America better. The world needs to be more critical of the governments of Central America for not creating a viable living situation for its citizens so that no country has to face the burden of trying to accommodate thousands of new migrants. While the Statue of Liberty does say “give me your tired, your poor…” should we not also do our best to spread her light of liberty to other countries so that people don’t feel compelled and almost obligated to leave? While I can’t speak for the whole right, I concede that we collectively need to be better on the global scale so that we can help improve living situations for all global citizens.
Contact Marc Moreira at [email protected]