Source: RT en Español
What it’s about: In an opinion piece for RT en Español, John M. Ackerman writes that the migrant caravans headed towards the U.S. is an indicator of a legitimate crisis within the neoliberal system. He compares the caravan to the Selma to Montgomery marches led by Martin Luther King Jr. in 1965, writing the migrants are taking part in “an open act of peaceful civil disobedience to the rules of the world order.”
He continues by listing the ways in which the U.S., Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala have responded to the caravan, writing that in both the U.S. and Europe, there has been an increase in anti-immigrant policies and racism. Ackerman also comments that during the Cold War, it was the U.S. and its allies criticized the Soviet Union and used the Berlin Wall as an example “of the limitations on foreign transit as an example of the authoritarian character of those regimes.” But now, it is the countries which “supposedly defend freedom” that want to construct walls and are “obsessed” with limiting migration.
Why it’s misleading: While the migrants risking their lives in order to reach the U.S. and apply for asylum are brave, it’s a reach to compare them to those who marched for their civil rights in the Selma protests. The migrant caravan is not a protest of the liberal order as much as it is a response to the growing violence, corruption and lack of economic opportunities in the Northern Triangle. The caravans are also a result of the growing political crises that are occurring in countries like Nicaragua and Guatemala, where corrupt governments refuse to leave office. The idea of a “caravan” to the U.S. is a new development created to: 1) Cut out the (often dangerous) coyote middlemen; and 2) Reduce the dangers of making it to the U.S.-Mexico border when traveling alone or in small groups. Referring to the migrant caravan as a protest movement takes away from the fact that the caravan is made up of legitimate migrants who are fleeing violence and seeking a better life.