Migrant Caravan

CLP Current Event: November 27, 2018

The migrant caravan from Central America has received help from many organizations and groups. Learn more about how these groups have shown kindness and compassion in this week’s Current Event!

Brought to teachers by Susie Marcus, CLP consultant, with CLP staff.

“Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.” 
― Franklin D. Roosevelt

News Sources

Opinion: When do we talk about the migrant caravan? Now, by Jennifer Rich, The Hechinger Report, November 26, 2018
“As a professor in a college of education who teaches and researches about how to talk about difficult (and increasingly political) topics with young people, and as a former elementary school teacher and a mother of young children, I have spent time in recent weeks thinking and teaching about the migrant caravan.”

Is it legal for tear gas to be used against migrants?, by Miriam Valverde, Politifact, November 26, 2018
“U.S. Border Patrol agents fired tear gas at migrants seeking entry at the southwest border, claiming the migrants were throwing rocks and bottles.”Is this legal? Is this moral? Is this accurate? What is happening here?” tweeted Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, on Nov. 25.”

U.S. closes major border crossing as caravan migrants mass at border in Mexico, by Sarah Kinosian and Joshua Partlow, The Washington Post, November 26, 2018
“What began Sunday morning as a migrant protest of the slow pace of the U.S. asylum claims process devolved into a chaotic scramble in which hundreds made their way to the border hoping to cross onto U.S. soil.”

With goal in sight, caravan members must make tough choices about asylum, by Kate Morrissey, The San Diego Union Tribune, November 26, 2018
“Members of the migrant caravan who have entered a version of immigration purgatory in Tijuana repeat the same phrase when talking about what will happen to them next — tenemos que esperar…The phrase has two possible translations — We have to wait. We have to hope. Both are applicable to the uncertainty facing those who trekked hundreds of miles and are now staring across a border at a goal that has shifted from theory to reality.”

Migrant Caravan: Mexican Authorities Arrest Dozens Over Disorderly Conduct, Vow to Deport Them As Tensions Flare, by Chantal DaSilva, Newsweek, November 21, 2018
“The arrests—and planned deportations—come amid growing tensions in Tijuana, where local residents have railed against the arrival of the roughly 3,000 Central American migrants who made their way to the border town in hopes of seeking asylum in the U.S.”

Federal Judge Grants Portland Group’s Request To Block Trump’s Ban On Asylum, by Erica Cruz Guevarra, OPB, November 20, 2018
“The judge issued a temporary restraining order in a case brought before immigrant rights groups that include Portland-based Innovation Law Lab. The groups argue the ban violates existing immigration law and would cause harm to people fleeing danger in their home countries.”

Caravan migrants weigh options after court blocks Trump ban, by Julie Watson, AP News, November 20, 2018
“Some of the largely Honduran migrants were frightened when about 500 people in an affluent district of Tijuana staged angry protests Sunday against the caravan. Dozens of the more radical protesters then marched to an outdoor sports complex near downtown where 2,500 migrants have been staying, sleeping on dirt fields and under bleachers.”

Court ruling undercuts Homeland Security chief’s warning to migrants at U.S.-Mexico border, by Rafael Carranza, Arizona Republic, November 20, 2018
“Nielsen said the Trump administration will abide by Monday’s ruling, throwing a wrench into their enforcement crackdown in Southern California, as thousands of migrants remain in limbo in Tijuana, while thousands more continue making their way to that border community.”

Michigan rabbi leads caravan of faith to help immigrant kids in Texas, by Niraj Warikoo, Detroit Free Press, November 16, 2018
“’More than any other commandment in the Torah, we are told 36 times to be kind to the orphan, the widow, the stranger,’ he said, citing Biblical passages and Jewish tradition. ‘Rabbinic tradition talks about welcoming the stranger. Welcoming the stranger takes precedent over honoring the presence of God.’”

Migrant caravan begins arriving in Tijuana, by Patrick McDonnell, Los Angeles Times, November 14, 2018
“Officials in Guadalajara, Mexico’s second most populous city, said they had provided aid in recent days to more than 6,000 northbound migrants, including Central Americans, Mexicans and South Americans. On Wednesday, hundreds of caravan members remained stuck on roads in western Mexico after traveling through Guadalajara. Mexican police and other authorities were trying to get them off the highway and gather the migrants together in safe areas while arranging for rides north.”

Migrant caravan: Weary, frustrated participants face long, dangerous road ahead, by David Agren, USA Today, November 4, 2018
“The caravan has covered more than 800 miles since leaving San Pedro Sula, Honduras, Oct. 12. At least three more smaller caravans have formed since their departure, seeing safety in numbers and a way to avoid paying human smugglers high fees for taking them to the United States.”

‘Open the borders’: New York rally urges US to welcome caravan, by Azad Essa, Al Jazeera, November 4, 2018
“’We want Americans to understand this is beyond Republican and Democrat or Trump and his administration,’ Patricia Okoumou, the activist who climbed the Statue of Liberty on July 4 to protest against forced separations at the US-Mexico border, told Al Jazeera. ‘If we don’t act, we are all complicit … people need to open their eyes,’ Okoumou said, adding that it was time to acknowledge migrants and refugees as fellow human beings.”

Questions to Consider

  • What is a caravan?
  • What is border security? Why does border security matter?
  • Do the numbers of people in the caravan affect the efforts to respond to their needs?
  • What is a migrant? What are the motives of the caravan members? Are some of the caravan members criminals?
  • Why are people leaving Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador?
  • What do border-states in the United States fear in migration from Central America?
  • What is Mexico’s role?
  • What role should the countries of Honduras, el Salvador, Nicaragua and Guatemala play to help their citizens?
  • What role does the United States play?
  • What resources are available to help support migrants? What does “opening the floodgates” mean?
  • How should the media cover the migrant caravan? Is neutral coverage possible? Why or why not?
  • What are the international laws regarding immigration?
  • What is asylum? What does the Ninth Circuit decision mean?
  • What is a well-founded fear of persecution?
  • What is the inscription on the Statue of Liberty?
  • How is the caravan tied to the whole question of immigration policy?
  • Does the humanitarian crisis at the border require international assistance?
  • What are the implications of closing the border between the United States and Mexico?

Background and More

FACT CHECK: Are 300 ‘Known Convicts and Gang Members’ Among the Migrant Caravan?, by Bethania Palma, Snopes, November 13, 2018

The Trump administration just moved to restrict its asylum system as migrant caravans head toward US, by Michelle Mark, Business Insider, November 8, 2018

The Solution to the Caravan Crisis Is In Honduras, by Reihan Salam, The Atlantic, October 24, 2018

9 Questions (and Answers) About the Central American Migrant Caravan, Washington Office on Latin America, October 22, 2018

Lesson Plans

Breaking News English Lesson: Migrant Caravan, Breaking News
CLP: ESL lesson plan with 3 different levels; many options for vocabulary building, listening and reading practice

Video Clip: Migrant Caravan and the U.S. Border Patrol, C-SPAN Classroom
CLP: Middle & High School

Constitutional and Legal Connections

Migrants in caravan sue Trump and his administration, alleging ‘abuse’ of ‘constitutional rights’, by Kevin Breuninger, CNBC, November 2, 2018

Judge Andrew Napolitano: ‘The Camp of the Saints’ and the migrant caravan, by Judge Andrew Napolitano, Fox News, October 25, 2018

What legal obligation does the US have to accept refugees?, by Liam Thornton, Independent, January 30, 2017
CLP: An international perspective

Chapter 2: The Source and Scope of the Federal Power to Regulate Immigration and Naturalization, by David Weissbrodt and Laura Danielson, University of Montana Human Rights Library, 2004
CLP: Breaks down each branches power and checks on immigration

Oregon Connections

Oregon Militia Members Say They’re Traveling to the Border to Confront the Migrant Caravan, by Aaron Mesh, Willamette Week, November 4, 2018

Oregon State Social Science Standards

8.8 Evaluate information from a variety of sources and perspectives.
8.21 Analyze important political and ethical values such as freedom, democracy, equality and justice embodied in documents such as the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.
8.26 Examine a controversial event, issue, or problem from more than one perspective.
HS.18 Analyze the impact of human migration on physical and human systems (e.g., urbanization, immigration, urban to rural).
HS.28 Evaluate how governments interact at the local, state, tribal, national, and global levels.
HS.31 Describe United States foreign policy and evaluate its impact on the United States and other countries.
HS.33 Explain the role of government in various current events.
HS.35 Examine the pluralistic realities of society (e.g., race, poverty, gender and age), recognizing issues of equity, and evaluating need for change.
HS.59 Demonstrate the skills and dispositions needed to be a critical consumer of information.
HS.60. Analyze an event, issue, problem, or phenomenon from varied or opposing perspectives or points of view.

We the People Lesson Connections

Middle School, Level 2

  • Unit 6, Lesson 28: What is the relationship of the United States to other nations in the world?
  • Unit 6, Lesson 30: How might citizens participate in civic affairs?

High School, Level 3

  • Unit 6, Lesson 34: What is the importance of civic engagement to American constitutional democracy?
  • Unit 6, Lesson 37: What key challenges does the United States face in the future?