Trump Points Out the 'Ironic' 'Con' of the Migrant Caravan


We’ve all seen the pictures from the migrant caravan currently working its way up through Mexico toward the United States border. While the phenomenon has gotten less coverage than it did before the midterm elections, there’s one item in particular that you can probably remember from the drone-and-helicopter wide shots showing the crowd: the waving flags.

President Donald Trump wonders why that is.

“Isn’t it ironic that large Caravans of people are marching to our border wanting U.S.A. asylum because they are fearful of being in their country — yet they are proudly waving their country’s flag,” Trump said in a series of Friday tweets.

“Can this be possible? Yes, because it is all a BIG CON, and the American taxpayer is paying for it!”

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What exactly the con was went unexplained in the presidential tweets, although it didn’t take much to deduce.

Do you think that caravan members should receive asylum in the United States?

Caravans don’t start as an organic phenomenon. People don’t gather ’round the town square in, say, Honduras and say to themselves, “You know, this country is a mess. You know what we should do? Round up tens of thousands of people, march up to the U.S. border and demand asylum or cross over illegally! I bet we can get tons of media coverage along the way, too.”

If you therefore accept that caravans are inorganic phenomena, you also have to accept that there’s a political mover behind it. The most common conspiracy theory on the internet seems to involve George Soros, although no evidence has been produced in this direction.

A much more likely prime mover — indeed, one more than willing to take credit for it — is Bartolo Fuentes, a former Honduran politician who says he organized the march in order to shine a light on the failures of his country’s leaders.

“In Honduras, the government wants to minimize why people are leaving — they know they are going to leave and they want to say they are doing so because of lies and the opposition, not the conditions that they created,” he said, according to the New York Post.

“This is in line with what the United States is saying — that there are false promises being made. And this pro-government news program played into that messaging, trying to say that there is financing when really people just need to get out.”

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However, as Benjamin Arie pointed out in a Western Journal Op-Ed, Fuentes has quite the radical history. He’s a member of the LIBRE party, a communist-socialist group that proposed repealing the country’s constitution. Fuentes is also tied to far-left former Honduran leader Manuel Zelaya, who was removed from office back in 2009 after allying with former Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez and trying to change the constitution to stay in power, along with other faux pas.

In one blog post defending the former president, Fuentes said the “American empire” needed to face defeat.

“It is necessary to defeat the opposing forces, which are fundamentally the oligarchy … and the American empire that for now is embodied in the gringo ultra-right that sponsored the coup d’état against President Zelaya,” Fuentes said.

Of course, that kind of ideology could explain all of the flags from other countries dotting the caravan route. Or perhaps it’s something deeper. Either way, it certainly is an irony — embracing the symbol of a country they seem so desperate to leave.

One has the utmost sympathy for those who are simply trying to leave poverty, of course. It’s their responsibility, however, to follow the legal route to leave poverty — and that isn’t requesting asylum, which isn’t designed for economic migrants. However, when the point of a caravan is simply a political one, that sympathy is rightly diminished.

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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