Editor's Note: John Schlafly co-wrote this column.
During the Easter weekend, when many Americans were watching the college basketball championships, President Donald Trump kept his eye on America’s southern border. It’s long overdue for a president to defend our borders.
“Getting more dangerous,” Trump tweeted on Easter Sunday before attending church with his wife, Melania, in Palm Beach. “‘Caravans’ coming.”
The president was referring to the “caravan” (their word) of some 1,200 men, women and children who were spotted in southern Mexico, heading toward the United States. Photographs showed a massive column of people walking north, herded by a few vehicles alongside.
A “caravan” is a group of migrants traveling together with all their belongings, often on foot or with covered wagons, stopping at makeshift camps along the way to eat and sleep. The word originated in the Middle East centuries ago when crossing the desert by caravan was a common sight.
In the frontier era of the 19th century, Americans traveled west by covered wagon for mutual protection as they crossed through hostile Indian country. Caravans are rarely seen in modern America, but it’s a different world south of the border, where millions of people live in primitive conditions that would have challenged our ancestors.
In this case, a caravan consisting of hundreds of men, women and children from Central America, mostly Honduras, crossed into Mexico on March 25, heading north. By April 1 they had traveled 140 miles to the town of Matías Romero.
A thousand people do not embark on a journey of over 1,000 miles without organization and financial support. The caravan now making its way through Mexico is being coordinated by a group called Pueblo Sin Fronteras, which means Town Without Borders (or People Without Borders).
The New York Times describes Pueblo Sin Fronteras as a “transnational advocacy group” whose leader, Irineo Mujica, is a “Mexican-American who holds dual citizenship.” There are so many things wrong with those phrases that it’s difficult to know where to start.
To begin with, the United States does not recognize dual citizenship, except in rare cases. A person from Mexico or anywhere else who goes through the process of becoming a U.S. citizen is required to take an oath swearing to totally renounce his previous allegiances.
Similarly, a “transnational” group is not allowed to exist in many countries without first registering to do business or conduct its activities legally in that country. We have enough problems with the outlaw transnational group called MS-13, which has committed murders of incredible savagery, primarily in areas populated by recent immigrants from Central America.
The caravan’s next stop is the town of Puebla, near Mexico City, which the migrants hope to reach by April 5. There they expect to attend two days of “workshops, led by volunteer lawyers” to learn about “their options for legal protections in the United States.”
During the Obama administration, lawyers would coach illegal migrants, who do not speak English, how to keep repeating the English phrase “credible fear.” When people show up at the border claiming a credible fear of persecution in their home country, they are treated as refugees with a right to stay here indefinitely until their claims are adjudicated.
“As ridiculous as it sounds,” Trump tweeted on Monday, “the laws of our country do not easily allow us to send those crossing our Southern Border back where they came from. A whole big wasted procedure must take place.”
If those people truly have a credible fear in Honduras or Guatemala or El Salvador, why don’t they apply for asylum right where they are, in Mexico? Under international law, according to a ruling of the European Court of Justice last year, migrants must seek refuge or claim asylum in the first safe country they reach, which in this case is Mexico.
Fortunately, the Trump administration has tightened the requirements for would-be refugees and expedited the processing of their claims. But there’s still a huge backlog of refugee cases from the Obama administration, so we need to pressure Mexico to cut off the caravan before it gets here.
The renegotiation of NAFTA gives Trump leverage, as he tweeted on Tuesday: “Mexico is making a fortune on NAFTA. With all of the money they make from the U.S., hopefully they will stop people from coming through their country and into ours, at least until Congress changes our immigration laws!”
The alleged rights of illegal aliens know no bounds. Last week an Obama-appointed federal judge entered a sweeping order that teenage girls who illegally crossed our southern border without their parents have a constitutional right to an abortion in the United States.
An American teenage girl cannot ordinarily obtain an abortion in Texas without parental consent. But according to Judge Tanya Chutkan, who was born in Jamaica, an illegal alien teenage girl can get an abortion here without parental notice or consent, even though abortions are illegal in her home country.
John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) whose 27th book, The Conservative Case for Trump, was published posthumously in 2016.