Things could get ugly in a hurry once the migrant caravan reaches a point of entry at the US-Mexico border.
Facts about the migrant caravan marching from Honduras to the southern border of the US are sort of hard to come by. There are plenty of facts available, but many of the “facts” contradict other “facts” being presented by opposing news media sources. This makes it difficult for the average news watcher/reader to get a completely honest picture of what is happening.
I could repeat the facts I have heard or read here, but many of you would just report back to me the facts you have heard or read, so I’m not going to bother. I do have many questions and concerns, but the biggest concern is not about the origination of the march, or the logistics of keeping this many people moving in concert and keeping them fed and hydrated. Certainly, there seems to be a great deal of organization for a spontaneous trek.
But, what is going to happen once the caravan reaches the US border? President Trump has vowed to stop them from just walking across the border into the US, as some in the caravan have stated is their goal. What happens when those people meet with the Border Police and the additional military that the US has sent to the area?
It is likely at least some of the migrant caravan marchers are armed, with some types of weapons. For sure, the Border Police and military are. Even if the vast majority of the migrants are actually peacefully seeking asylum in the US and are actually fleeing persecution and oppression in their home country, common sense and the way of the world today tells us there are a few bad apples included in the group.
Border Police and the military will be at a heightened state of nervousness should a standoff occur, with tension so thick you could slice it with a knife. What will it take to prompt a reaction from either side that could escalate into a shooting incident, resulting in injuries or even loss of life?
This reminds me of the Cuban Missile Crisis in the 60s, where the US and Russian forces were face-to-face surrounding the island. The biggest fear on both sides was someone overreacting to a perceived provocation and firing the first shot, which would require a return volley, and eventually escalate into WWIII.
The stakes may not be quite that high, but same principle applies. And who is to say that is not the intended goal of certain factions? Any military action by the US that causes harm to anyone, rouge actor or innocent civilian, will be portrayed as heinous by the media, which is looking for anything they can blame on Trump.
We have seen evidence of that in previous encounters at the border. Pictures of kids in cages were plastered all across the pages of websites, only to find out later they were taken in 2014, prior to Trump’s administration. Again, facts really don’t matter in partisan news.
Regardless, my fear is that such a confrontation will lead to loss of life, probably on both sides of the border. Some migrants will likely be killed, if they attempt to break down barriers and storm the gates. Also, it is likely that some Border Police and/or military personnel will die as well.
In short, this could get out of hand really quickly. We have seen it happen in the past. Cooler heads must prevail, and they are in short supply right now.
But now is the time to act. We must use every resource available to convey the message that the US, as any sovereign nation would, will not allow an invasion across its borders, no matter the intent behind the invasion. We must tone down the rhetoric, look for a peaceful solution, and involve Mexico in the process as well. It will take reason, understanding and compromise from all parties involved.
If we can’t achieve that, I fear we will regret what happens next for quite a long time, on both sides of the border. No one has to die.