Organizers of Illegal Migrant Caravan Headed to US Are Feeling the Backlash – Go Silent

Pueblos Sin Fronteras, the group behind the 1500 strong illegal migrant army marching through Mexico with the blessing of the Mexican government to the United States is feeling the heat from pro-border Americans and President Donald Trump. Spokespersons for PSF gave interviews on Sunday in which they claimed most of the migrants would stay in Mexico while others would seek asylum at US ports of entry rather than illegally cross the border.

Video from March 26 showing Mexican authorities allowing 1500 illegal migrants to sweep through a border checkpoint from Guatemala.

There has been a virtual blackout from PSF and the embedded Buzzfeed reporter, Adolfo Flores, since the backlash began on Friday with the publication of Flores’ initial report from the caravan and a subsequent warning was posted by a supporter of the migrants. (To the Left, anyone concerned about border security is a “white supremacist”.)

“ALERTA—Far-right white supremacists, including at Breitbart, are setting sights on the #ViacrucisMigrante2018 #RefugeeCaravan #NoBanNoWallNoRaids #RefugeesWelcome @PuebloSF @alex_mensing @AlOtroLado_Org @LatinoAdvocacy1 @NLGnews @aflores @BryanSchatz @democracynow @latinorebels”

“By noting the caravan Breitbart is inciting white supremacists to fight a grassroots movement made up of people fleeing US-backed violence to find safety and help for their families. #EndBorderImperialism #EndWhiteSupremacy
@democracynow @NLGnews @IGD_News @splinter_news @NIJC”

“The border was drawn by white settler colonists and is maintained to terrorize and discipline immigrant communities, all for the benefit of capital and white supremacy. The border, CBP, ICE, capitalism, white supremacy, etc. can and *will* all be undone. #EndBorderImperialism”

The PSF Twitter page has not posted news on the caravan, or anything, since Friday. Neither has the PSF Facebook page.

Likewise, embedded Buzzfeed reporter Adolfo Flores went dark, posting nothing on Twitter since Friday for almost 48 hours. Flores posted two tweets Sunday afternoon about Trump’s morning tweets and public comments about the caravan.

“The grandmother used to run a successful bakery but had to close up after she refused to pay gangs “rent.” The father of her grandson was killed for refusing to extort her for the gang and his wife fled to another country. There are hundreds of migrants with similar stories”

“I asked some of the migrants on the caravan what they thought about Trump saying they were going to the US for DACA. Some laughed and others said they thought (correctly) they wouldn’t qualify.”

Flores’ article reported the migrants were responsible for their food, water and expenses.

Alex Mensing, another organizer with Pueblos Sin Fronteras, made that point clear to the migrants before the group started out. He also stressed that everyone is responsible for their own food, water, and payment for vans or buses. Still, it’s far cheaper than being assaulted or falling into the hands of unscrupulous smugglers.

“I’m here to work together with the people who had to leave their countries for whatever reason,” Mensing said through a loudspeaker. “We’re fighting together. We’re not here to give anyone papers and we’re not here to give anyone food.”

However, as this March 8 tweet shows, PSF set up a dedicated Paypal account weeks in advance for donations for the migrants.

PSF is also soliciting donations for the migrants at the PSF website which raises the question of what PSF is doing with the donations.

A spokeswoman for PSF, Gina Garibo, spoke with Univision on Sunday by telephone. Garibo dramatically downplayed the intentions of the migrants, claiming many would seek refugee status in Mexico. Garibo also reiterated PSF’s announced plan for the caravan to layover in the Mexican town of Puebla for several days this week to seek legal counseling for the migrants.

(Excerpt via Google Translate)

The caravan is organized by Pueblos sin Frontera, a group that seeks to draw the attention of Mexican and US authorities on the need to protect vulnerable populations and “dignify the refugees,” her project coordinator, Gina, told Univision Noticias on Sunday. Garibo.

In a telephone conversation, Garibo assured that the caravan that they organize does not have to do with “an avalanche of immigrants that is going to cross the border as the president’s tweet says”. He affirmed that the caravan will be between April 5 and 8 in Puebla, where they will receive advice from human rights organizations of both countries and will define the actions they will take.

Apparently, many of the migrants will seek to remain in Mexico as refugees while others may continue north to try to seek asylum in the United States. “We will accompany them to the ports of entry on the northern border, where they will turn themselves in to the immigration authorities,” said Garibo, rejecting some of the people who are going to try to cross the border. media versions that pose the caravan as a group that seeks to illegally cross the border line.”

Another spokesman for PSF, Roberto Corona, also dramatically downplayed the caravan in comments to the New York Times on Sunday.

A representative for a group called Pueblo Sin Fronteras, which organized the caravan, said that it would take four to six weeks before it reached the United States-Mexico border, and that the number of participants would be significantly smaller by then.

Most people are likely to drop out of the caravan in Mexico, rather than journey all the way to the border, the representative said, because they know they would be turned back by American border officials.

“Many of them know they won’t qualify for asylum. They are afraid of being detained,” said Roberto Corona, the group’s communications director, adding that most of them just wanted to reach Mexico, where they plan to speak with members of that country’s Congress.”

Mensing spoke to ABC News on Sunday, also downplaying the caravan.

A group of at least 1,200 Central Americans is, in fact, making its way through Mexico — but slowly, on cargo trains, and they won’t reach the U.S. border for about three more weeks, Alex Mensing, a project coordinator with Pueblos Sin Fronteras, which is organizing the march, told ABC News.

The march, versions of which have happened on and off since 2010 — including twice last year — will conclude at an official port of entry in California, Arizona or New Mexico, depending on train schedules, Mensing said. By then, he said, the migrants — most of whom are Honduran — will have heard from American and Mexican lawyers about the asylum processes in both countries.

Some will peel off before then, but most will likely claim asylum at the port of entry and be detained for anytime from a few weeks to over a year, Mensing said.

“We accompany them to an official port of entry,” he said. “People aren’t going to unofficial points of entry.”

The Buzzfeed article from Friday partially contradicts Garibo, Corona and Mensing about the migrants’ intentions to illegally enter the U.S.

Not everyone is planning on crossing into the United States undetected. Migrants like Yonis, an Honduran man who declined to use his full name, are hoping to get their families to other parts of Mexico. He was able to legalize his status in Mexico and is hoping to get his wife and seven month old baby to the Mexican state Nuevo León.

“I have my life there,” Yonis told BuzzFeed News. “We’re all here fighting together, going to different borders, chasing an American dream that sometimes becomes a reality or doesn’t for some.”

Organizers estimate that about two-thirds of people are planing on crossing into the United States undetected or asking for some type of protection like asylum.

PSF issued a press release on March 23 announcing the caravan that included the layover in Puebla. Puebla is located southeast of Mexico City putting the caravan days away from the U.S. border.

March 23 at 2:34pm ·
**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE**
[español abajo…]

March 23, 2018
Tapachula, Mexico

To the governments of Central America, Mexico, and the United States of America,
To the media,
To human rights organizations,
To civil society,

We are a group of people from different nations, religions, genders, gender expressions, and sexual orientations migrating and seeking refuge. We seek to become one collective, supporting each other shoulder to shoulder and demonstrating that by uniting we can abolish borders.

We Central Americans have formed a caravan of many united in struggle. We leave Tapachula, Chiapas on March 25.

If all goes well we will be in Puebla, Mexico from April 5 to 9 to participate in legal preparation and workshops. From there we will hope for the blessing of solidarity from the Mexican people and human rights organizations, who we hope will join our struggle and assist us with the supplies and resources that they have available. We appreciate the support and collaboration of the people of Mexico and the United States. We hope to be an example of solidarity and struggle to the world.

We demand of our Central American countries:
-An end to political corruption
-An end to violence against women and the LGBTQIA community
-An end to failures of justice for victims of domestic violence, extortion, threats, and homophobia
-An end to corruption between gangs, the police, and governments
-An end to murder with impunity and gang recruitment of youth

We demand of Mexico and the United States:
-That they respect our rights as refugees and our right to dignified work to be able to support our families
-That they open the borders to us because we are as much citizens as the people of the countries where we are and/or travel
-That deportations, which destroy families, come to an end
-No more abuses against us as migrants
-Dignity and justice
-That the US government not end TPS for those who need it
-That the US government stop massive funding for the Mexican government to detain Central American migrants and refugees and to deport them
-That these governments respect our rights under international law, including the right to free expression
-That the conventions on refugee rights not be empty rhetoric

“The border is stained red!”
“Because there they kill the working class!”
“Why do they kill us? Why do they murder us…”
“If we are the hope of Latin America?”

Sincerely,

2018 Refugee Caravan “Migrantes en la Lucha”
Pueblo Sin Fronteras”

President Trump warned Mexico on Sunday in a series of tweets and a statement to the press before church.

“Border Patrol Agents are not allowed to properly do their job at the Border because of ridiculous liberal (Democrat) laws like Catch & Release. Getting more dangerous. “Caravans” coming. Republicans must go to Nuclear Option to pass tough laws NOW. NO MORE DACA DEAL!”

“Mexico is doing very little, if not NOTHING, at stopping people from flowing into Mexico through their Southern Border, and then into the U.S. They laugh at our dumb immigration laws. They must stop the big drug and people flows, or I will stop their cash cow, NAFTA. NEED WALL!”

“These big flows of people are all trying to take advantage of DACA. They want in on the act!”

Video of Trump’s remarks was posted by CBS News reporter Steven Portnoy.

The White House released a transcript of Trump’s remarks.

For Immediate Release

April 1, 2018

REMARKS BY PRESIDENT TRUMP

BEFORE EASTER CHURCH SERVICE

Bethesda-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church

Palm Beach, Florida

10:54 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Happy Easter.

Q Happy Easter, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: Happy Easter. Enjoy it.

Q Mr. President, what did you mean by no DACA deal?

THE PRESIDENT: Mexico has got to help us at the border. If they’re not going to help us at the border, it’s a very sad thing between our two countries.

Mexico has got to help us at the border. And a lot of people are coming in because they want to take advantage of DACA, and we’re going to have to really see.

They had a great chance. The Democrats blew it. They had a great, great chance but we’ll have to take a look, because Mexico has got to help us at the border. They flow right through Mexico. They send them into the United States. It can’t happen that way anymore. Thank you.

END 10:55 A.M. EDT

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