One step at a time: desperate families join migrant caravan | World news | The Guardian

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“Thousands are walking to US border, away from hunger and violence of Central America seemingly unaware of Trump’s hostility”

Source: One step at a time: desperate families join migrant caravan | World news | The Guardian

Following is a slightly edited version of my response to a friend’s posting of this link on her Facebook timeline:

I should be sorry if this costs me a friend, but I think it has to be said: whether you love our current President or hate him with a passion, a border-crashing convoy / caravan heading toward the United States is no laughing matter, and it is certainly not a cause for celebration. It is a serious and dangerous threat to our territorial integrity and national sovereignty. If you want to come here, there are ways to do so legally. This is not one of them!

And while I recognize and respect that some of them may be “desperate,” I rather doubt that they are any more desperate than the majority of human beings have been for the majority of human history (and prehistory). I feel sorry for them, but the U.S. is not the land of milk and honey, or the leprechaun’s pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. We are our own country, with our own problems, and our own people to take care of, and we’re not going to be able to do that as well (or even as poorly… 🙄) as we are, if this sort of thing becomes the norm.

One woman interviewed said she was 65 and couldn’t get a job. If she couldn’t get a job there, what is the chance that she’ll get a job here, where she doesn’t speak the language, doesn’t know the culture, has few if any contacts…? Are you – this is a collective “you,” I’m not specifying anyone in particular – willing to pay for her support, and that of her family, and that of many others in this caravan, out of your taxes? Is the daughter she’s trying to find even here legally, herself?

Again, if you want to come here, there are legal paths: if temporarily, on a work visa; if your intention is permanent, by applying for citizenship. On the subject of citizenship, I have to admit, I have little sympathy or respect for people who come here wanting all the economic benefits of living and working in the U.S., long-term, but are unwilling to accept the responsibilities that come with citizenship. It is also a slap in the face to the millions of legal immigrants who have done it the right way! Many of them are livid about things like this, and rightly so.

In any case, trying to crash the borders – even if you call it “peacefully opening” them – in a mass caravan is a recipe for disaster. No borders, no country. It is both the right and the responsibility of any nation to be very careful about who they let in, for the good of their existing citizens and for the well-being of the country as a whole. If there is anyone who genuinely thinks it would be a good idea to open the borders and turn immigration into a free-for-all, please think carefully through all of the implications. The result, if it were ever to happen, might not be so pleasant as some might imagine.

UPDATE: Associated Press reports,

“Migrants traveling in a mass caravan burst through a Guatemalan border fence and streamed by the thousands toward Mexican territory on Friday, defying Mexican authorities’ entreaties for an orderly crossing and U.S. President Donald Trump’s threats of retaliation.

“On the Mexican side of a border bridge, they were met by a phalanx of police with riot shields. About 50 managed to push their way through before officers unleashed pepper spray and the rest retreated.

“The gates were closed again, and police used a loudspeaker to address the masses, saying, ‘We need you to stop the aggression.'”

“Peacefully” opening the borders, eh…?

QOTD: “Non scholae, sed vitae”

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Full form:

Non scholæ sed vitæ discendum est.

“We must learn not for school, but for life.”

— Latin proverb (paraphrase of Seneca)