The caravan migration from San Pedro, Honduras, has been the talk of the month. It’s a topic that’s been covered by every media company out there, but still, it feels as though we might not be getting the full story.
One-sided headlines seem to leave out some vital facts and pushing a certain narrative. So what isn’t the media telling us, and why do reports seem to focus more on emotions than facts? Here’s everything you need to know about the caravan migration, the one-sided media coverage, and the potential continued war on Trump.
What is the caravan migration?
The tension in Central America has been on the rise for some time now, with controversial elections, violent protests, and criminal gangs making streets unsafe. This has caused thousands of people to make their way to Mexico.
The caravan migration started with a group of hundreds of people fleeing Honduras after many violent protests broke out in a response to President Juan Orlando Hernandez’s election. But over time, thousands more joined the caravan’s journey to Mexico, and the United States border.
Whilst many are content to settle in Mexico, a large number of these immigrants are making their way to the Mexican border that borders San Diego. These asylum seekers hope to cross the border into the US.
The caravan migration simply refers to the group of people fleeing Central America. But this group of immigrants are causing conflicts at the US-Mexican borders, as many try to cross the border illegally.
Where does the US law stand on the matter?
There’s a lot of controversy surrounding the topic of whether or not these immigrants should be allowed to seek asylum in America. So where does the US law stand on the matter?
Caravan members have the right to seek asylum in the States. Back in 1967 the US passed a law (the Protocol Relating To The Status Of Refugees) which basically promises to protect persecuted people. According to this law, members of the caravan don’t have to file for asylum when they reach Mexico. Instead, refugees can put in a claim for asylum at the border, or even after they’ve crossed the border illegally.
However, those who aren’t fleeing persecution won’t be considered refugees so they won’t have the same rights. And anyone found out to be lying about their situation will be prosecuted.
How has Trump responded to the caravan migration?
Throughout much of his presidential campaign and his presidency, President Trump has repeatedly referred to the migrant caravan as an invasion.
He has continued to use similar rhetoric in the last month, in particular in the run-up to the midterms, promising that the Republicans would ensure the US isn’t overrun by ‘illegal aliens’.
He also recently responded that amidst the genuine and innocent asylum seekers were criminals and gang members. He warned that ‘bad people’ would be heading to the US border and that the US military would be waiting for them.
As well as his speeches on the matter, Trump has also increased the number of troops stationed at the border and made the fence that surrounds the border much harder to cross.
How is the media portraying the caravan migration?
The media has a tendency to ‘pick a side’ when it comes to very controversial issues, even if their ‘side’ is only shown subtly through their choice of language. For example, with Trump’s presidential campaign, the media focused on putting down Trump and his policies, attempting to make a mockery of his campaign.
With the caravan migration, we’ve seen the media again taking sides, and twisting the reality of the issue at hand.
Many news companies picked up on a trending picture of a mother and her two children running from the border, and from that picture came several sympathetic headlines. ‘Tear gas should never be used on children’ said the Washington Post, NBC released the ‘true story’ behind the image, claiming the tear gas was a horrific attack.
But what we don’t hear is that the tear gas is actually harmless, and used only as a deterrent for those trying to illegally cross the border. It’s a safer, and usually harmless alternative to bullets or brute force.
What narrative are the media trying to push?
Despite the fact that the US military troops are doing their best to protect their country, and uphold the law in the least forceful way possible, the media are continuously producing headlines that sympathize only with the caravan members.
So what narrative are the media going for with their headlines and stories? In short, they’re pushing against Trump’s protective efforts and trying to play to the hearts of their readers.
The trending image and headlines don’t focus on the thousands trying to force their way across the border. They focus on three individuals, two children, to evoke emotions of sympathy for the migrants.
The media is pushing forward the idea that the US military troops are acting without remorse and without sympathy.
The caravan migration conspiracies
The one-sided media coverage could be seen as a continuation of the media war on Trump. The military stationed at the border are acting on Trump’s orders, and Trump is the one enforcing stricter border control. Rather than focusing on fact, the media are continuing their battle against Trump in a subtler manner.
President Juan Orlando Hernandez and his administration even believe that the entire caravan migration has been pushed for and encouraged by political opponents. President Hernandez was backed by the Trump administration, and so many are starting to question whether the entire migration has been yet another attack on Trump.
The caravan migration has caused many to lose faith in President Hernandez and has put the critical spotlight onto Trump’s strict immigration policies.
These conspiracy theories formed because of the huge void left by the lack of a leader or instigator – it’s not often that thousands of people decide to brave a life-threatening journey of their own accord.