October 22, 2018

Central American Caravan

“A growing caravan of Honduran migrants streamed through southern Mexico on Sunday heading toward the United States, after making an end-run around Mexican agents who briefly blocked them at the Guatemalan border.”

AP News

President Trump threatened last week “to cut aid to three Central American nations if they let people travel to the U.S. illegally.”

AP News

See past issues

From the Left

The left is criticizing the Trump administration’s immigration policies and Trump’s threats to cut aid to Central Americans countries.

This is “yet another demonstration of how even harsh attempts to deter migrants from making the journey to the U.S.-Mexico border, including separating parents and children, often fail." According to the Center for American Progress, “if the choice is sudden death or imminent certain death in your country, or going somewhere else with the possibility you might be detained or separated, you take the lesser of the two evils."

The Atlantic

“Trump doesn’t appear to understand that the US can’t simply shut down the US-Mexico border; that people coming to the US without papers can’t simply be repelled or deported (because they might have valid grounds to claim asylum)... Trump characterizes the problem with Central America as gang violence, but uses that as a reason for the US not to accept Central American migrants, rather than a reason to extend asylum to them.”


30% of Hondurans currently live in poverty, and violent crime and gang violence are rampant. Withdrawing US dollars that are being used to promote economic development and the rule of law could shatter any hopes of sustainably bringing Hondurans out of poverty or mitigating violence. This could motivate more Hondurans to make the dangerous journey north in search of a safer, more secure environment."


Moreover, “cutting off aid could push Central American countries into the arms of countries like China that don’t include respect for human rights in many of their economic investment and development programs... [This] would both be of severe detriment to the people of Central American and would be damaging to the U.S. from a geopolitical perspective."

The Hill

Some note that “the caravans are a drop in the immigration bucket and pose no significant risk to the United States... [Trump] went apoplectic in April when a caravan of about 1,200 Central American migrants moved through Mexico; government officials there dispersed most of the migrants and only about 150 reached the U.S. border. For comparison, so far this year, border agents have arrested an average of 42,651 migrants per month."

Los Angeles Times

Regarding the Cadillac tax, “high-premium employer-based plans raise the cost of health care for everyone by encouraging the overconsumption of expensive services. This means that even Medicare and Medicaid face higher prices. Quite aside from its benefits for the health-care market, the Cadillac tax would also have the effect of expanding the tax base and making the tax code more efficient. It would raise revenues by about $15 billion a year… Rather than killing or delaying the Cadillac tax, Democrats should be trying to make it operational. The tax would raise revenue, lower costs, increase the efficiency of the tax code and give the Obamacare individual market its best chance at success.”
Karl W. Smith, Bloomberg

“The two issues with which he is most often associated, support for a balanced budget and opposition to free trade, put him at odds with both of our major political parties. An old-fashioned, soft-spoken Southerner, he nevertheless held views on so-called ‘social issues’ that would be to the left of the mainstream of the Republican Party, both then and now. He was a fervent supporter of the Vietnam POW/MIA movement in the late '80s and early '90s, but he was not in any sense a hawk. Never mind 2003. Perot opposed the first war in Iraq in 1990… Perot's death should be mourned by all Americans who regret the fact that it is no longer possible to make reasoned, non-ideological arguments about questions of public import, and by the devolution of our political life into mindless partisan squabbling.”
Matthew Walther, The Week

From the Right

The right believes the caravan must be stopped and immigration law must be enforced strictly.

From the Right

The right believes the caravan must be stopped and immigration law must be enforced strictly.

According to Steve Cortes, president of the Trump Hispanic Advisory Council, “Americans are compassionate people, and we empathize with all those who suffer and respect the desire of millions to become Americans. Tolerating illegality is not real compassion, not for our own American citizens and not for illegal immigrants who are often abused by the inherent criminality of porous borders."

Washington Times

“The caravan migrants believe that they are entitled to simply pass through Mexico without any interference and ensconce themselves in the United States... 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."

Frontpage Magazine

“Halting the flow of illegal immigration ought to be a bipartisan issue, because Congress and the president are obligated to enforce our immigration laws. If Democrats in the House and Senate believe immigration laws need to be changed they should work with Republican colleagues and the president to try to do so... If illegal immigrants believe they can enter the U.S. at will, many more may choose to come here in violation of our laws."

Fox News

“When Trump, under intense political fire, ended his ‘zero tolerance’ policy of separating refugees from their children, this message went out to Mexico and Central America: bring your kids with you when you cross the border. They will have to stay with you and they cannot be held for more than 20 days. When they are released, you will be released to await a hearing on your claim of asylum. The odds are excellent that you can then vanish into the U.S. population and never be sent back."

The American Conservative

Many argue for cooperation with Mexico. “It seems to me that the burden has to fall on Mexico at this point. They have the ability to shut this down and if they’re willing to do so the White House should consider offering them some sort of support in terms of funding and supplies to help them honor their obligations."

Hot Air

“If Joe Biden can win his way through the primaries, he’s almost lab-engineered to beat Trump. He doesn’t cause Republican panic, he has the potential to connect with white working-class voters in a way that Hillary couldn’t in 2016, and he has a potential to connect better with black voters than Hillary did… if Biden emerges from [this] crucible, Trump will face a very different challenge than he faced in 2016.”
David French, National Review

“NBC and MSNBC embraced Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts in the first debate of Democratic presidential candidates Wednesday night, treating her like the star of the show. The debate led off with Warren, who had a huge popularity advantage from the start… NBC anchor Savannah Guthrie started it off sounding more like Warren’s press secretary. ‘You have many plans – free college, free child care, government health care, cancelation of student debt, new taxes, new regulations, the breakup of major corporations,’ Guthrie said, before teeing up an economy question. Guthrie even used Warren’s plan to break up tech companies as the foundation for a question for Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey… the round-robin final comments also ended with Warren, as Maddow asked her for the ‘final, final statement.’ That let NBC bookend the entire debate with Warren and Warren.”
Dan Gainor, Fox News

President Trump should be happy. As much as Warren is articulate, obviously intelligent, and energetically supported by Democrats, she would also be far easier to defeat than Joe Biden… Considering Trump's economy, the president is well placed to defeat Warren.”
Tom Rogan, Washington Examiner

A libertarian's take

“The fans who avidly followed the men’s tournament certainly weren’t doing anything wrong. And it’s hard to argue that each of them had a moral obligation to be exactly as interested in women’s soccer. Even if we could stop them from watching the men more than the women, should we?…

“It’s tempting to answer that the fan choices aren’t innocent, they’re sexist. But since we can’t peek into their hearts, to say that definitively, we’d have to assume that men’s greater speed, strength and endurance definitely make nodifference to the sport’s quality. Fair enough, but then why do fans prefer to watch Megan Rapinoe play instead of the sedentary elderly who could presumably use some exercise? Alternatively, maybe pay should be equalized precisely because biology is unfair. But that seems to be an argument for curbing the pay of all top-level athletes, who have to hit the genetic lottery just to get on the field. It might be easier to focus on the distributions across society at large, rather than every individual industry, especially when fundamental biology is in play.”
Megan McArdle, Washington Post

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