The Central American caravan movement has just begun, more are coming, administration options are very limited and congress won’t do anything about it, according to an expert on immigration issues.
On Tuesday Mark Krikorian, a noted expert on immigration issues and immigration policy strategy, pointed to reasons for the movement of caravans from Central America to challenge the border and laws of the United States.
He spoke to a gathering of leaders from numerous conservative activist groups.
Krikorian said that conservative strategists should avoid distractions and focus on the real problem.
Islamic terrorists aiming to infiltrate the United States avoid the Spanish-speaking caravans, and while leftist sources fund them, the reasons are very local as to why these convoys are happening.
It stems from local Honduran politics, not George Soros. The real problem is all about U.S. Asylum rules, but an upshot for now is the fact that the caravans are a political God-send to Republicans this election year.
“I don’t think that the no-border Democrats, except for the most radical, would ever do this,” Krikorian said. “They, the Democrats, are terrified of this issue.”
A fiasco is building inexorably as the Trump Administration’s hands are largely bound by law, legal precedent and past administration rules that are difficult to untangle.
“The President’s options are limited here,” Krikorian said. “This problem is going to get much worse before it gets any better. More caravans are coming.”
A good, but temporary measure being called for by President Donald Trump is creation and use of tent cities. Also, the military could help with that.
Detaining immigrants claiming asylum status long enough for an asylum hearing is key.
Until congress over-rules this, we’re stuck with it, but I don’t see that happening any time soon
“They come to the border, and they want to be found,” Krikorian said. “Then they just say the magic word, ‘asylum’ so they get in.”
There are millions of asylum cases on hold.
“If we don’t detain people, they’re in the wind, they’re gone,” he said. “Meanwhile, almost all Central American cases for asylum are denied because they have no basis for asylum.”
If the illegal shows up with a minor they can say is their child, the clock is ticking faster – both must be released within three weeks because of court-ordered rulings.
“There are going to be more caravans like this unless we change our asylum rules,” Krikorian said. “Until Congress over-rules this, we’re stuck with it, but I don’t see that happening any time soon. ”
According to Krikorian’s analysis, a Honduran opposition candidate wanting to embarrass opposition parties developed a caravan idea.
It was actually small, about 200 caravan members who were recruited, but the word spread and became viral – not for a political attack, but because a lot of people wanted to move north.
“A caravan option is much cheaper than paying a smuggler about $7-to-10,000, and you’re going to be a lot safer, safety in numbers,” Krikorian said.
Those numbers do not include Arab terrorists, but probably do include some criminal gang members.
“The MS-13 gangs are possibly present, but terrorists don’t use caravan options, that’s a distraction,” Krikorian said. “They’d be found out quickly, and the Mexicans are real careful about that sort of thing.
“The Mexicans don’t have to worry about any racial profiling rules,” he added. “There were come Bangladeshis who tried to join a caravan, and they were rolled up and thrown out.”
Krikorian said that Islamic terrorists have routes and means of illegally infiltrating into the U.S. that a specialist on his team at the Center for Immigration Studies is investigating.
It is a problem, but the Islamist terrorists do not chose caravans where they’d likely expose and endanger themselves.
In the near term, the political football of the caravan and immigration issues has fallen into conservative and Republican arms like a fourth-quarter interception.
“It is a God-send,” Krikorian said. “This forces the press to focus on the issue of immigration. It is important to put the focus of political blame on the Democrats where it belongs.”
Mark Krikorian has served as executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) since 1995. An independent, non-partisan research organization in Washington, D.C., the Center examines and critiques the impact of immigration on the United States.
His presentation and followup questions before a hearing of S.T.A.N.D. America members is recorded and can be found here.