Sunday, October 21, 2018

Central American 'Caravan' Approaches The U.S. From The South: Trump Threatens The Use Of Military

Migrant "Attack Caravan" Regroups; 5,000 Push North As Mystery Men Hand Out Cash

A Central American migrant caravan which was temporarily delayed by the Mexican government has regrouped, resuming their advance towards the US border on Sunday, according to AP

The number of migrants swelled overnight to approximately 5,000 as the mile-long caravan set out toward the Mexican town of Tapachula. Several hundred asylum seekers have reportedly applied for refugee status in Mexico, while an estimated 1,500 remain on the Guatemalan side of the Suchiate River in the hopes of entering Mexico legally. 

It was not immediately clear where the additional travelers had materialized from since about 2,000 had been gathered on the Mexican side Saturday night. They seemed likely to be people who had been waiting in the Guatemalan town of Tecun Uman and who decided to cross during the night.
They marched on through Mexico like a ragtag army of the poor, shouting triumphantly slogans like “Si se pudo!” or “Yes, we could!
As they passed through Mexican villages on the outskirts of Ciudad Hidalgo, they drew applause, cheers and donations of food and clothing from Mexicans.
Maria Teresa Orellana, a resident of the neighborhood of Lorenzo handed out free sandals to the migrants as they passed. “It’s solidarity,” she said. “They’re our brothers.” -AP

The group has been referred to as an "attack caravan" by former GOP House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who cited a figure by Fox News host Laura Ingraham that the caravan would cost around $7,000 per person, or $28 million total when the size of the group was estimated at 4,000 people. At 5,000 strong, the caravan would cost $35 million.

Meanwhile, two men in white t-shirts were seen handing out what appears to be cash to the migrants last week, fueling speculation that the second such group this year has been professionally organized and funded. 

The migrant caravan regrouped after Mexican authorities refused mass entry via a bridge over the Suchiate River - instead allowing small groups of migrants to enter for asylum processing, while giving 45-day visitor permits to others. That said, many of the migrants found ways to circumvent the Mexican government despite the deployment of hundreds of riot police upon President Trump's request

Trump isn't having it
President Trump reiterated his commitment to deploying the US military if the caravan isn't stopped. At a Friday rally in Scottsdale, Arizona, he said "But as of this moment, I thank Mexico. If that doesn’t work out, we’re calling up the military — not the Guard."

Trump reiterated his statements to reporters: 

On Sunday, Trump tweeted: "Full efforts are being made to stop the onslaught of illegal aliens from crossing our Souther Border. People have to apply for asylum in Mexico first, and if they fail to do that, the U.S. will turn them away. The courts are asking the U.S. to do things that are not doable!" 

On Saturday, State Department spokeswoman Heather Hauert said: "The Mexican Government is fully engaged in finding a solution that encourages safe, secure, and orderly migration, adding: "both the United States and Mexico continue to work with Central American governments to address the economic, security, and governance drivers of illegal immigration."

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen warned Sunday that the illegal immigrant caravan heading toward the U.S. could be exploited by cartels that control most of the illegal flow of people through Latin America.
Ms. Nielsen also praised the efforts of Mexico and Central American governments she said are working with the U.S. to try to contain the caravan, rather than enable it.
While some among the once-5,000 member caravan have given up and returned to Honduras, local reports say about 2,000 people have barged into Mexico and vow to press on to the U.S., defying the will of the Mexican and American governments.
Warnings of a get-tough policy from U.S. officials have done little to deter the migrants, who for years have seen relatives and neighbors easily jump the border to enter the U.S. with little consequence. The ease of entering is a selling point for the cartels, who control the drug and human smuggling routes into the U.S. and require payment of a “mafia fee” just to cross the U.S.-Mexico boundary line.
Court records show that fee typically runs from $1,000 to $2,000. That doesn’t include thousands of dollars in other fees that cover foot guides, drivers, stash houses and the rest of the illegal journey.
“While we closely monitor the caravan crisis, we must remain mindful of the transnational criminal organizations and other criminals that prey on the vulnerabilities of those undertaking the irregular migration journey,” Mr. Nielsen said in a statement Sunday.
Mr. Trump has said he would pull U.S. foreign assistance from Central American countries and would “seal” the border, including nixing the free trade agreement he’s finalizing with Mexico, unless those nations find ways to halt the caravan.

He has also said he will deploy the U.S. military — a step beyond the National Guard troops he previously asked be sent to the border.
Mexican authorities had attempted to keep the caravan in Guatemala, processing people individually to enter either to claim asylum or to get a visitor visa. But thousands of migrants decided not to wait and burst through fencing or paid to be ferried across the river into Mexico, circumventing the border guards.
The caravan began a week ago in Honduras. The Associated Press reported that Guatemalan officials calculate some 5,400 people had entered their country from Honduras since the caravan began. Perhaps 2,000 have returned home.

A migrant caravan from Central America is currently heading en masse to the United States. Its members, several thousand strong, are intent on pouring into the U.S. in what amounts to an invasion force. President Trump has correctly branded the caravan an "onslaught" and an "assault on our country." The president has promised to use military troops if necessary to close the southern border with Mexico. He also threatened to cut off all foreign aid to those Central American countries that are not doing enough to stop the migration caravan in its tracks.

Members of the caravan have already demonstrated their violent streak during an early stage of their trek, as they approached Mexico. They “forced their way through Guatemala's northwestern border and flooded onto a bridge leading to Mexico,” AFP reported. These migrants, mainly from Honduras, engaged in violent clashes with Mexican riot police as they tried to surge through police lines and cross the bridge into Mexico. Four Mexican police officers were reportedly injured. "Violent entry into the country not only threatens our sovereignty, but also puts the migrants themselves at risk," Mexico’s President Pena Nieto said. "Mexico does not permit and will not permit entry into its territory in an irregular fashion, much less in a violent fashion."

The caravan migrants believe that they are entitled to simply pass through Mexico without any interference and ensconce themselves in the United States. A press release issued by the organizers of a similar migrant caravan earlier this year stated a “demand of Mexico and the United States” that “they open the borders to us because we are as much citizens as the people of the countries where we are and/or travel.” This “open borders” demand is a direct challenge to U.S. national sovereignty. Migrants are not entitled to insist upon a “right” to choose the United States as their destination country, including would-be asylum-seekers if they are offered the chance for asylum in Mexico first.

Some of the caravan migrants cry poverty and use children as shields while pleading their case. Others in the caravan have likely learned - from the migrants who preceded them and from open borders advocates encouraging their migration - the playbook of how to exploit the loophole-ridden U.S. immigration laws. They know that their sheer numbers will further overwhelm an already overstretched adjudicative process with many more amnesty claims. Once in this country, the migrants, especially those with children in tow, are likely to be released into the community-at-large, pending the outcome of their asylum hearings, which could take place years later. They may well skip their hearings altogether, as many before them have done, and remain free to live in our country at American taxpayers’ expense indefinitely. Other migrants in the caravan who manage to make it to the U.S. border will simply enter illegally at unguarded points without even the pretense of seeking asylum unless they can be stopped first. Terrorists and criminal gang members are free to take part in the caravan with little chance of detection.

President Trump has vowed to use the military to seal the southern border of the United States with Mexico, if necessary – a stretch of territory as long as 2000 miles. Aside from logistical issues, questions have been raised as to whether the president has the legal authority to take such action in enforcing U.S. immigration laws, at least with respect to utilizing active-duty members of the army, navy, air force and marines. Those who claim that the president does not have such authority cite the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, as amended from time to time, which prohibits active duty military troops from executing the country’s laws unless expressly authorized by the Constitution or an Act of Congress. This statute does not apply to the National Guard operating under state authority.

However, repelling an organized force of unvetted migrants, who may include terrorists and foreign criminal gang members, from entering this country in the first place is not simply civil domestic law enforcement. It is a military response to a genuine threat to U.S. territorial sovereignty and national security originating from foreign territories. The military response would be directed by the president of the United States who is vested with the constitutional authority of commander in chief.  The president would be using the military to implement the constitutional mandate of Article IV, Section 4 of the Constitution that the “United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion.”

Analogously, if the president determines that it is necessary to use active members of the military to enforce federal authority in situations he deems potentially dangerous to national security, there is a statutory exception to the Posse Comitatus Act which should allow him to do just that (10 U.S.C. § 332, renumbered §252). This provision states that the president may “use such of the armed forces, as he considers necessary,” to enforce “the laws of the United States” whenever he “considers that unlawful obstructions, combinations, or assemblages” make it “impracticable” to enforce such laws “by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings.” The migrant caravan aimed at entering the United States is an “assemblage” by definition. This assemblage has already acted unlawfully in violent clashes with Mexican riot police, after which some members then entered Mexico illegally despite being given the chance to submit to a legal process for asylum claims. U.S. border enforcement officials have already been overwhelmed by the number of illegal aliens and would-be asylum seekers from Central America. The current migration caravan will further burden the adjudicative system for amnesty hearings to the point of implosion.
President Trump tweeted on Sunday: “Full efforts are being made to stop the onslaught of illegal aliens from crossing our Southern Border. People have to apply for asylum in Mexico first, and if they fail to do that, the U.S. will turn them away.” If he needs the military to protect the border from the migrant caravan invasion, so be it.

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