Central American migrants aren’t seeking asylum, they’re activists challenging US sovereignty

Central American migrants aren’t seeking asylum, they’re activists challenging US sovereignty
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Let’s clear up some misconceptions about the 1,500 or so Central Americans who have now arrived at our southern border.

They are not asylum seekers — they are publicity seekers. People who are truly escaping political persecution at the hands of their government — the legal standard for being recognized as a refugee or asylee — request protection in the first neutral country they enter. They do not traverse a rather large country like Mexico, trailed by television cameras, to reach the U.S. border. And if they did not trust the Mexican government to treat their asylum claims fairly, they would have sought protection from international entities, like the U.N. high commissioner for refugees. 

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They are not spontaneously fleeing their homelands in Central America because circumstances in those countries have taken a sudden turn for the worse. Those nations have been dysfunctional, corrupt, impoverished, and crime-ridden for as long as anyone can remember. The “caravaners” are part of an orchestrated effort on the part of a group calling itself Pueblos Sin Fronteras, “People without Borders,” to challenge the sovereignty of the United States.

 

As the group’s name suggests, Pueblos Sin Fronteras believes that anybody has the right to enter any nation (most especially the United States) whenever they want to and that we have a legal and moral obligation to let them in so long as they don’t show up in tanks.

The clear objectives of Pueblos Sin Fronteras are to exploit the humanitarian policies of the United States and to take advantage of our asylum system that was carefully crafted to protect the oppressed, not reward opportunists.

The United States is under no legal or moral obligation to allow politically motivated organizations to use our humanitarianism and our legal system as a weapon in their assault on our national sovereignty. The real intent of the organizers is to get caravan members into the United States because they know that, once in the country, it will be extremely difficult for the government to ever remove them. To achieve this end, Pueblos Sin Fronteras along with “legal aid” groups are openly coaching the migrants about what they need to say to immigration officials in order to make a facially valid asylum claim.

The Trump administration is responding exactly as it should to protect the security of our nation and the integrity of our laws. Those who credibly claim that they fear persecution by their governments will be permitted to seek political asylum. Those whose claims lack merit can legally be turned back under the Expedited Removal provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

But the Trump administration cannot effectively end the abuse of our immigration system on its own. It will need the help of Congress to tighten existing laws and close glaring loopholes that allow our humanitarianism to be exploited in ways that were never intended. Notably, Congress must rewrite the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008, which was intended to prevent human trafficking, particularly the abhorrent, and criminal, practice of illegally bringing foreign minors into the United States and forcing them into prostitution.

Under the Wilberforce Act, any minor (except for Canadian and Mexican nationals) who shows up at the border must be allowed to enter and be granted the opportunity to apply for permission to remain here. Inadvertently, the law has opened the door for parents, guardians, smugglers, and political activists to use minors as a way to gain entry to the United States. 

If Pueblos Sin Fronteras’s cynical attack on the sovereignty of the United States is allowed to succeed, we should expect to see many more “caravans” turning up at our land, sea, and air borders. And, much like the so-called border surge of 2014 and 2015, we can expect that the caravans will include criminals who pose a threat to the safety of our communities — a threat that those of us in local law enforcement will have to contend with.

The caravan is nothing more than carefully staged political theater — a dangerous performance intended to advance an ideological cause, namely to eviscerate the ability of our nation to control who enters. We must close the show before it ever gets to Act II.

Sheriff A.J. Louderback is a four term Texas Sheriff from Jackson County, Texas.