The abandonment of the migrant caravan

The United States ignore humans seeking asylum as part of its flawed and corrupt immigration system


Illustration by Diego Torres

Cameron Bessette, Reporter

Psychologist, Abraham Maslow, outlined the basic human needs over 60 years ago. Now nationally taught, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is internationally famous. At the very base of his pyramid-shaped doctrine Maslow outlines the basic human physiological needs. In essence, the needs outlined in the base of Maslow’s pyramid are necessary for a human to exist and to stay human, they include; air, water, food, shelter, sleep, clothing, and reproduction.
In what is widely considered to be the founding document of a country now considered to be a world power, the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson stated: “that all men are created equal”. Later in the document, they are recognized to have “certain unalienable Rights… among them Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”
This nation was built on a foundation of immigration and a policy of being. At least eight US presidents are known to have parents who were immigrants. Ironically, our current president, Donald Trump, who has said and published so many hateful things about immigrants, is numbered on that list. His attitude seems to have taken the United States by storm.
Though for many years US immigration laws have been growing increasingly more immense and harder to navigate, this year, our nation stooped to a new low of inhuman hatred. In October, a group of 1,600 Hondurans left their homes in hopes of receiving asylum in the United States. The caravan continued to grow as they journeyed through Guatemala, swelling to about 3,000 human beings. These people left everything they know, fleeing violence, poverty and abuse to seek the necessities they and their children deserve.
In mid-November, the first of these families arrived in Tijuana, Mexico the last city before the United States, full of hope. On Sunday, the 25th of November US forces repelled these human beings seeking to fulfill the base of their hierarchy of needs and those of their children from the United States border with tear gas. Silencing what little hope they still had.
This nation once so open to those seeking refuge has turned its back on the rest of the world’s humanity. Our most important national representative, our president proclaimed “They’re [immigrants from Mexico] bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.” before he was even elected to support us. US citizens silently support that opinion with our refusal to care for these people.
Instead, we shove them onto the citizens of Tijuana, who live in the same struggle they do, and like a child, we proclaim “you touched it last”. These immigrants are living in a single sports center. There is not a square foot of space that is not occupied by a person or a meager belonging. Respiratory diseases are spreading, floods ravaged what little possessions were supposed to be safe there.
While these people are dying and suffering, the United States kicks back and claims that they can enter the US legally or not at all. Conveniently unaware of the state our immigration laws are in. Currently, the wait for one of these migrants to obtain a single appointment to begin applying for asylum is over two months.
For months the United States is proclaiming that they will watch these men, women, and children suffer and die. They deny them their foundation of needs without so much as a tear on their behalf. The country that was once a refuge for anyone with humanity is now losing pieces of its own.