Caravan optics and leftist prop-aganda

· April 4, 2018  
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Women and children march in migrant caravan
Jordi Ruiz | Getty Images

The open-borders Left in this country would like nothing more than for women and children migrants from Central America to meet American soldiers dressed in Kevlar, wielding M-16 rifles, at the southern border while the cable news cameras roll. At least, this is the confrontation imagined in the hearts of liberals looking to push a narrative as President Donald Trump proposes summoning the National Guard to secure the porous border, because the optics would generate sympathy for the open-borders cause and obscure the evils of rampant illegal immigration.

The president is concerned for the country and for the rule of law. As approximately 1,200 migrants organized by an open-borders group march toward the U.S., Trump has decried the “weak” catch-and-release immigration policies instituted under the Obama administration and continued to this day, demanding that Congress take legislative action to strengthen the law.

“We cannot have people flowing into our country illegally, disappearing, and by the way never showing up for court,” the president said at the White House Tuesday. “If it reaches our border, our laws are so weak and so pathetic … it’s like we have no border.”

Taking what executive action he can while Congress remains inactive, the president met with Defense Secretary James Mattis to discuss “guarding our border with our military,” which the president calls “a big step.” Tuesday night the White House announced that the National Guard would be deployed to the Mexican border.

News of the president’s proposal to use the military to secure the border elicited responses like this:

That’s the national security reporter for the Washington Post. Do you see what’s going on here? The entire illegal immigration and border security issue has been dismissed as “kids camping on a soccer field” because this caravan of, as one newspaper told the story, “unaccompanied adolescents, single women, and fathers with children” is the focus of the media. And this caravan is the focus of the media because that’s a good sob story.

Nevermind that in fiscal year 2016, 408,870 would-be illegal immigrants were apprehended at or near the southern border. Ignore the Department of Homeland Security estimate that the year before, border law enforcement apprehended only 54 percent of those who infiltrated the country. Don’t dare to mention the violent crimes committed by the gangs like MS-13 and Trump’s call for tougher border security in the same article. Obfuscate the cause of the nation’s opioid crisis — illegal immigrants bringing heroin and fentanyl across the border — by blaming big pharmaceutical companies. Cheer on as the courts erode American sovereignty in the name of compassion and create the conditions for crime, corruption, and drug deaths.

Just focus on this drop-in-the-bucket caravan of 1,200 and how mean and nasty Donald Trump is for calling in the military to stop them. And dismiss the president’s concerns by spreading misinformation, as the Washington Post did yesterday in an article declaring the Mexican government had “stopped” the migrant caravan.

This was an inaccurate report, as Splinter noted:

On Tuesday morning, The Washington Post published a story with a headline definitively announcing Mexico had “stopped” the caravan. The Post also went on to quote a statement from Mexico’s Interior Ministry claiming “that 400 people in this group have already been deported.” (Hours after the story’s publication, the paper edited the headline to simply say the caravan “stalls at a soccer field.” The current text of the online story also dropped the 400 figure, saying instead that “some” have already been deported. There was no editor’s note about the changes.)

But organizers of the caravan on the ground in Mexico say that’s not true.

“We have communicated with our groups and we account for everybody,” Rodrigo Abeja, an organizer with the group Pueblo Sin Fronteras, told Splinter on Tuesday afternoon, a few hours after the Post published their story.

“It’s possible that the Mexican government said that so President Trump calms down,” Abeja, who was speaking from the city of Matias Romero Avendano in the southern state of Oaxaca, also said.

In the original Washington Post article (which was changed without explanation or an editor’s note), Alex Mensing, one of the organizers, said the caravan was “a mass nonviolent collective action” that was organized to “raise the political cost of repression” by immigration law enforcement in the U.S. and Mexico. This is a revealing admission. It means that this great “humanitarian” effort is actually a prop to make political demands, and an annual event at that!

This is how the Left operates. Whether it’s a “caravan” of 1,200 Central Americans demanding open borders or a group of teenagers put on cable news to demand that Americans surrender their Second Amendment rights, the Left uses people as political props to advance their agenda. It’s all about optics, and this time the international Left is literally parading people to the United States to demand an end to sovereign nation-states with borders.

Conservatives can make the case for border security and the rule of law as much as we like. But the Left knows that if a handful of impoverished women and children from a failed country are the faces of their emotional appeals, they will win the argument — by not having one.


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Author: Chris Pandolfo

Chris Pandolfo is a staff writer and type-shouter for Conservative Review. He holds a B.A. in politics and economics from Hillsdale College. His interests are conservative political philosophy, the American founding, and progressive rock. Follow him on Twitter for doom-saying and great album recommendations @ChrisCPandolfo.

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