Alleged Migrant Caravan Member Starts Fire, Resists Border Patrol Agents on US Soil


A man who identified himself as a member of the migrant caravan in Mexico — and who already has crimal history in the United States — has been detained after a chase with Border Patrol agents that included the man setting a fire to avoid arrest.

“Last night, Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents and a (Customs and Border Protection) pilot had rocks thrown at them when they tried to arrest a subject who claimed to have been part of the migrant caravans,” U.S. Customs and Border Patrol announced in a news release Saturday.

“On Friday night, at approximately 5:45 p.m., Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents discovered footprints from a subject who had illegally crossed from Mexico into the United States just east of the Andrade, Calif. port of entry.

“Agents radioed for a CBP Air and Marine helicopter to assist and it responded a short time later. The agents tracked the suspect for almost a mile until he was encountered near a tree. The male suspect climbed up into the tree, set it on fire and began to throw rocks at agents on the ground as well as at the CBP helicopter. None of the agents nor the helicopter was struck.”

This isn’t exactly the best arrest-avoidance tactic, and you may not be surprised to learn that it didn’t work. You may also not be surprised to learn that he had some priors on his record, as well as a deportation from the United States.

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“The subject eventually came down from the tree and was taken into custody,” Customs and Border Protection said in the release.

“He was determined to be a 31-year-old Honduran national illegally in the U.S. The subject told arresting agents that he had been part of one of the migrant caravans that had been covered by the media in Mexico recently. He was transported to the Yuma Central Processing Center. The Winterhaven Fire Department responded and extinguished the fire.

“During processing, the subject was found to have several previous arrests in Florida as well as a previous deportation from the U.S. on June 4, 2018,” the release noted. “The subject is being presented for prosecution and removal proceedings.”

Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the man was actually part of the caravan. In fact, the profound stupidity of such separating from the caravan to try to enter the United States solo introduces an element of doubt to the proceedings.

Do you think that the caravan needs to be stopped?

Then again, he self-identified as a member of the caravans, and if there’s anything the liberals have taught me, it’s that self-identifying as a member of a group makes you part of that group no matter what reality might indicate. (Unless you’re Rachel Dolezal, in which case you really need to check your privilege and acknowledge reality.)

And, if there’s anything that the caravans have taught me (aside from the fact that they are indeed caravans), it’s that members of said caravans are capable of this sort of stuff. Just ask Mexican police, who had to deal with violent confrontations as the group entered from Guatemala.

Whether or not this arrest was caravan-related might never be determined.

But there are likely to be plenty more that are caravan-related in the future.

After all, the vast majority of asylum cases are rejected and the Department of Justice under former Attorney General Jeff Sessions made it clear that the DOJ didn’t consider the vague claim of a threat from gang violence — the main reason most of the members of the caravan would have to seek asylum in the United States, given that they’re from Honduras — a reason to clear the “credible fear” hurdle required under law.

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Once those cases are rejected, the question remains how many of these individuals will go quietly into that good trip south. Certainly not all of them. And that’s where incidents like this come into play.

Yes, a single illegal immigrant starting a fire, climbing a tree and throwing rocks at helicopters doesn’t exactly pose a prima facie threat to our Border Patrol agents.

That doesn’t mean all caravan members will act alone or with such ineffectuality. That’s where the problem lies.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture