I occasionally scour Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez’s Twitter feed for hours on end for reasons I find inexplicable.
The most positive spin I could put on my explanation I could give is that I’m doing research on stories, but that’s not quite it. In fact, I’ve actually written about socialism’s favorite useful idiot considerably less as the New York City Democrat approaches an almost certain election to Congress this November.
Rather, I trace the trend back to my tendency to listen to bands like The Cure, The Smiths and Joy Division during high school — because they allowed me to reinforce my superchargedly pessimistic outlook on life.
At least the works of Robert Smith, Morrissey and Ian Curtis were supposed to do that, however. Ocasio-Cortez’s Twitter feed is supposed to be full of love and energy, a symbol of the fact that these are going to be the young people that are going to take over our nation’s political discourse and lead us to an egalitarian utopia of free college, free health care, open borders and no guns.
That’s cheerless enough if you bother to examine it, but it’s only half the problem. If you want to see the other half, witness this tweet about how it is somehow racist to use the word “caravan” to describe a caravan of migrants seeking to use American asylum law in a way it clearly wasn’t meant to be used:
These are refugees using legal routes to seek & apply for asylum.
At this point, if you are an outlet adopting the President’s language to describe this as a “caravan,” you‘re playing yourself. And letting him play you. https://t.co/RfUL0d6Owy
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) October 26, 2018
So, to quote the Black Sheep, the choice is yours: You can get with this (adjusting your language and understanding of asylum law to come more in line with that of Ocasio-Cortez) or you can get with that (enforcing our laws as written).
The president, it seems, is getting with that.
“The U.S. military announced Monday that, by the end of the week, it will send 5,200 active duty troops to the southwest border, as well as helicopters and heavy equipment to build new barriers, to meet a request from the Department of Homeland Security to augment resources in anticipation of the arrival of two caravans of migrants currently in Mexico,” ABC News reported Monday.
“The deployment of active duty service members was triggered by President Trump’s remarks last week that he wanted the military to get involved in dealing with the caravan of migrants from Central America.”
The Pentagon is deploying thousands of active-duty troops to beef up security along the US-Mexico border in a bid to prevent a caravan of Central American migrants crossing https://t.co/qazuf79jdW pic.twitter.com/qPMKKYw3oW
— AFP news agency (@AFP) October 30, 2018
In a tweet, the president indicated that “Many Gang Members and some very bad people” were among the caravan members. This went by without confirmation from the media, although I’d just like to throw this out there for your perusal:
One migrant caravan member admits he’s been deported and convicted of attempted murder in the U.S. – he’s planning to reenter and request a pardon for his felony.
— Kambree Kawahine Koa (@KamVTV) October 30, 2018
Many Gang Members and some very bad people are mixed into the Caravan heading to our Southern Border. Please go back, you will not be admitted into the United States unless you go through the legal process. This is an invasion of our Country and our Military is waiting for you!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 29, 2018
This is a small sample size, mind you, but it shows this isn’t just a caravan (oops, sorry, forgot — “refugees using legal routes to seek & apply for asylum”) full of well-meaning people who don’t entirely understand asylum law.
Yes, most of them probably are — although they’re also using this caravan to politicize the somehow-controversial idea we can patrol our own borders. But there are also individuals who shouldn’t be in the country under any circumstance trying to enter under its auspices.
Air Force Gen. Terrence O’Shaughnessy, commander of U.S. Northern Command, told a news conference in Washington that the caravan poses a very real threat.
“I think the president has made it clear that border security is national security,” O’Shaughnessy said, according to ABC. “That’s the direction we are given. That’s the direction we are marching to. Our orders are very clear. We are engaged and here to support (Customs and Border Protection). We are going to secure the border.”
He also said that if there were issues, 5,200 troops could just be the beginning, including air support and heavy equipment.
“According to O’Shaughnessy, the active duty troops will help ‘harden’ the border using the Army Corps of Engineers and construction units that will build vehicle barriers and fencing,” ABC reported.
“Like the 2,100 National Guardsmen already deployed in a similar mission, the active duty troops will not carry out law enforcement duties, since that is prohibited by the federal law known as Posse Comitatus.”
“Everything that we are doing is in line with and adherence to Posse Comitatus,” O’Shaughnessy told reporters, according to ABC.
So, it’s legal, and they’re looking to enforce our immigration laws. What say you, liberal twitterati?
Evidence? They’re seeking asylum from situations you’ve never experienced b/c your daddy gave you everything, even your wealth. They carry peace & are ready to truly make America great. Unlike you, they’re willing to take the back-breaking jobs, pay taxes, & contribute to society
— Marco LCR (@MrMarco_LCR97) October 30, 2018
Beyond the whole ridiculous daddy thing, there’s not actually any argument to support that. (I’m sure Marco LCR probably has a computer and/or a mobile phone in part because his mommy and/or daddy was somewhat prosperous while most of these asylum seekers didn’t have that luxury. That’s not an argument for anything, unless you consider privilege-baiting an argument.)
Furthermore, asylum law only protects against a credible fear of persecution based on specific criteria. You don’t just get in because your country is in chaos — you have to show actual threat of persecution.
That point seemed to be lost on a lot of people.
They ARE doing it legally. They’re walking to our port of entry (as is their right) to request asylum. That’s actually how it’s done. Legally. We approve their request or turn them back. We don’t call in the military and have a big freak out.
— GiGi (@Zazochi) October 30, 2018
The media has made it clear that most of these individuals don’t meet the basic criteria for asylum. Oh, and lest we forget, this caravan began in Honduras; general international principles of asylum tend to indicate that individuals ought to apply for it in the first safe country they reach — which, in this case, would have been Guatemala or Mexico. That wasn’t what they planned to do. They planned to come to the United States border for reasons that ought to be prima facie obvious.
So, no, this deployment of 5,200 troops isn’t racist. It isn’t a sop to the base for the midterms. It’s a necessary step to prove we have the will to guard the border.
Let’s face facts: If the individuals in this caravan got into the United States, it wouldn’t make too much of a difference at a practical level — although given some of the elements that have joined the parade, it’s clear that America would likely be a better country with their being left out.
At a theoretical level, what it would do would be weaken the moral precedent to guard the border. If these individuals wanted to get asylum, there are ways to go about it that don’t involve caravans. In fact, many of them don’t even involve America.
What’s clear, therefore, is that asylum isn’t the main issue. Instead, it’s adding more kerosene to the bonfire of internecine enmity we’ve been building in America over these past few years.
That’s why Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Twitter feed is so vital: Not only is it the perfectly bleak social media soundtrack to our times, it’s a way of gaining insight into the views of Democrats who are trying to subvert United States borders — and its sovereignty.
Trump’s views are exactly the opposite. Sending troops to deal with the caravan at the border is the only rational response at this point. If other countries aren’t willing to step up, this is the only way to ensure our borders stay safe.
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