Caravan-Tested Immigration Policy

By Alexi Venice–

From now on, when people ask me where I’m from, I’m going to say, “North America.” They won’t know whether I live in Nova Scotia or Guatemala, but that’s my point. Did you know that 23 countries, including Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, make up North America?

Geography can be confusing for people who are easily confused due to conscious bias. Trump is talking about a migrant “caravan” that threatens to “invade” the U.S. through Texas. He even deployed troops to string barbed wire fences in anticipation of “the invasion.”

Did anyone tell Trump that these are not Dodge Caravans hecho en Mexico? These are fellow North Americans who are walking, many of them barefoot and holding babies, approximately 1,400 miles to escape gangs, poverty and corruption in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. Walking. WALKING! FOURTEEN HUNDRED MILES!

It’s a human migration, as in 5,000+ people gathering to travel a long distance for a chance at a better life. Like uh, English Puritans who came to Massachusetts in 1620. They, too, were motivated by social, political and economic forces to seek a better way of life. They risked their lives crossing the Atlantic in rickety ships infested with rats.

A 5,000-person caravan isn’t a lot of people to absorb into America. The caravan wouldn’t begin to fill one of our stadiums for an NFL game. In fact, 5,000 would be considered a small turnout.

Are our fellow North Americans in the caravan drug dealers, murderers and rapists? I don’t know. Maybe some are, but I thought that’s what they were running from. Are they carrying a bunch of drugs on their walk? If you have to carry your own food and belongings, are drugs at the top of the list?

Did they run out of people to kill in Honduras? Is that why they’re walking 1,400 miles? If so, the Caravanners could’ve stayed in Belize and Mexico on their journey because quite a few U.S. citizens visit the beaches there during the winter months. They could drug and kill us then. Why walk all the way to Texas? That sounds like a lot of unnecessary hard work!

Speaking of hard work, what’s the farthest you’ve walked, or run, lately? Did you run/walk a 26-mile marathon? If so, what did you do after you crossed the finish line? Eat a burger and fries? Did you enjoy a bowl of ice cream with hot fudge while putting your feet up in front of the T.V.? Did you take it easy the next day?

Try running a 26-mile marathon every day for 53 days. Or walk it. I dare you. I know I couldn’t do it. I can’t remember the last time I walked 14 miles. If you told me I would win $1 million if I walked 1,400 miles, I’m still not sure I could do it. Think about the enormity of the effort! Raise your hand, fellow Americans, if you could walk 1,400 miles under the blistering sun, on rough roads, for long stretches without food and water. Maybe you could if the place from which you were running was that bad.

How far has Trump ever walked in his life? If you have no compassion in your heart (Trump), and only cynicism runs through your veins (again, Trump) then at least view the migrant caravan as an example of Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection taking place right under your nose. These people are survivors.

The parents—carrying children on their shoulders for 1,400 miles—have traits that are surely well-suited for existence in the United States. These are some of the strongest of humanity. Let’s pay some respect to the caravanners’ shear physical ability.

I think we need a new immigration policy. Here it is: Anyone who walks, runs or swims more than a THOUSAND MILES to get into the U.S. is welcome. Driving doesn’t count. Flying doesn’t count (unless you build your own plane). Boating doesn’t count (unless you build your own boat).

Wasn’t America built on the shoulders of strong, tenacious, sturdy and determined people? Aren’t our fellow North Americans from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador demonstrating American grit by walking 1,400 miles?

caravanner 5

Let’s be serious. If you roll off the couch in Tijuana and expect to come into the U.S., then no way. You’re not welcome. We have enough couch potatoes here. You have to prove that you’re capable of hard work, like walking with a kid on your shoulders across rough terrain for FOURTEEN-HUNDRED-FUCKING-MILES to escape poverty, gangs and violence.

All we have to do at the border is ask them how far they walked, maybe look at the soles of their feet to confirm, shake their hands, and say, “Welcome to the United States, job applications are on the table next to your Thanksgiving dinner.”

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” (Quote on the Statue of Liberty, from a sonnet by Emma Lazarus.) Yes, the people in the migrant caravan will surely be tired, and poor and huddling, but they yearn to breathe free, crawling out from under political oppression and violence. Aren’t they the audience we’re advertising to with our mighty Statue of Liberty?

I defy you to look at the below pics and say the above quote out loud without your eyes tearing up. Go ahead. Try it. Do you feel the power of welcoming someone into our country?

In addition, they’re obviously energetic, healthy and determined. Talk about work ethic. I want these people working for me. Don’t we have stuff that needs to be done in America? Aren’t these the type of people who will make sure their kids walk to school no matter how far it is?

caravanner 3

I do know they’re good cooks and incredibly gracious. We were driving in southern Belize several months ago, skirting the Guatemalan border. We stopped in a café along the coast, a few miles from the border, and the food was fantastic. The owners took great care in making sure no fly landed on our table, pointing a fan at our table, refilling our glasses with fresh water, showing the best hospitality I could imagine. What a generous and courteous people. Below is a pic of us on a hill overlooking Guatemala. (Not much of a border fence between Belize and Guatemala is there?)

Caravan

We shouldn’t be deploying troops to erect barbed wire fences on the border. We should be deploying troops to set up food and water stations along the way, like we do for 26-mile marathoners. Feed these people. Open the door for them. We want them. They’re a select breed of super-human strength, courage and determination. Recruit their children for our future Olympic teams.

Are our fellow North Americans from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador coming here to steal jobs from us? I seriously doubt it. When was the last time you, or anyone you know, said they wanted to pick lettuce or clean hotel rooms? Let’s face it, current U.S. citizens don’t apply for the jobs that our fellow North Americans would happily do. We should be holding a humongous job fair at the border.

Did you know that Mar-A-Lago, Trump’s Winter White House, employs more Haitians than any other nationality? The Club applied for and received 70 visas for low-cost, unskilled workers.  I’m sure the resort could hire a few thousand migrants right now.

And, when will the migrant caravan arrive? They’re in Mexico City now, so they’re projected to arrive in three weeks’ time. Around Thanksgiving. How ironic. Are we all going to be stuffing ourselves in our cozy houses while we watch the Army fight back the poor, the tired, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free? How unamerican. Is Trump going to live The Hunger Games over Thanksgiving?

I think the we should be preparing a Thanksgiving meal for the North American (or Central American–whatever you want) migrant caravan.

 

7 thoughts

  1. I think this is one of your best posts! So much so I shared it with my race and ethnicity and human environment professors and they concurred. Truly moving and inspirational!!

    Liked by 1 person

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