In an interview on the Laura Ingraham show this week, populist pundit Pat Buchanan said that the Honduran caravan quickly approaching the United States was going to give President Trump an opportunity to prove to the country that he was indeed the leader we elected in November 2016.
“It’s not just the signature issue of the president or just about the signature issue of controlling the border, building the wall, halting illegal immigration,” Buchanan said. “It’s the major issue in Western civilization right now.
“The folks from the south who are dealing with repression and war and poverty and hardships all want to come north to Europe and the United States,” he continued. “And it enables Donald Trump to demonstrate he’s a leader on this issue, this is his issue. And he can take action to secure the borders and prevent what is really a third-world invasion of the West.”
The caravan’s progress has been at the forefront of the president’s mind as of late; on Monday, he tweeted no less than three times about the incoming Central Americans.
“Sadly,” he wrote in the first tweet, “it looks like Mexico’s police and military are unable to stop the Caravan heading to the Southern Border of the United States. Criminals and unknown Middle Easterners are mixed in. I have alerted Border Patrol and Military that this is a National Emergency. Must change laws!”
In a follow-up, he wrote: “Every time you see a Caravan, or people illegally coming, or attempting to come, into our Country illegally, think of and blame the Democrats for not giving us the votes to change our pathetic Immigration Laws! Remember the Midterms! So unfair to those who come in legally.”
Finally, Trump addressed the countries responsible for the fleeing migrants.
“Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador were not able to do the job of stopping people from leaving their country and coming illegally to the U.S.,” he wrote. “We will now begin cutting off, or substantially reducing, the massive foreign aid routinely given to them.”
This is not the first time a Central American caravan has lit out for the United States in search of refugee status, but this is perhaps the largest one in history. What began as a loose gathering of less than 200 people in Honduras only a week ago has grown to comprise an estimated 5,000 immigrants. While there are some in their number who may have legitimate claims to asylum, many of them are fleeing poverty and looking for work – economic malaise is not a recognized justification for entering the U.S. without permission.
Still, given the current laws, the administration may have little choice but to briefly detain and release the members of the caravan should they squeak past the border.