The New York Times ran an AP headline on Sunday afternoon that reads "Migrants March Toward US Border in Show of Force", and which refers to the story, first reported by Fox News, that some members of the caravan on Sunday marched upon a U.S. point of entry in California in an attempt to cross and as a demonstration/protest.
In fact, the border had to close temporarily at the crossing.
In addition, northbound vehicle traffic processing at San Ysidro is currently suspended. Updates will be provided as they become available.— CBP San Diego (@CBP San Diego) 1543173981.0
The press, which has in general treated the story of the caravan as a story hyped-up by the President but not of great signficance, has nevertheless been forced to cover aspects of the huge caravans of thousands of people literally marching on the American border.
"Several hundred Central American migrants have marched toward the international border crossing between Tijuana and California to pressure the U.S to hear their asylum claims," the report begins. They report that the "migrants carried hand-painted American and Honduran flags" and were chanting: "We are not criminals! We are international workers!"
"A few dozen Mexican police with plastic riot shields stopped the migrants well ahead of the crossing on Sunday," reads the repot. Sounds fairly tame.
It's a bit of a different tone from San Diego's NBC affiliate. Their headline is "Migrant Caravan, Supporters March on Both Sides of San Ysidro's 'War-Like' Border, Lanes Temporarily Close"
The Mexican federal police have shut down the border into Mexico - hundreds of riot police are lined up and no incoming cars are being allowed to enter from the US into Mexico pic.twitter.com/cNY0MZktAZ— Annie Rose Ramos (@Annie_Rose23) November 25, 2018
The San Ysidro Port of Entry began closing lanes and pedestrian crossings Sunday morning amid marches on both sides of the border in support of the migrant caravan.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection closed all southbound lanes into Mexico at the San Ysidro Port of Entry at around 11:15 a.m.
Northbound vehicle traffic processing at the San Ysidro Port of Entry was also suspended.
A very different story from the one the AP ran and the NYT posted. The marches on both sides of the border were the work of a "coalition" of about 20 activist and "social justice" groups, under the heading the San Diego Migrant and Refugee Solidarity Coalition.
They produced a list of demands, too:
- Respect for the right of asylum for all members of the Central American Exodus. Stop the profiling and criminalization of refugees; lift the executive order limiting access to asylum.
- Process all asylum claims made at Ports of Entry with expediency. We reject Custom and Border Protection’s claim that Port of Entries lack capacity to let in refugees. We also reject the shift away from decades of international asylum agreements that allow for requests to be made anywhere on the border.
- The US government must publicly acknowledge a) its role in Honduran Coup in 2009, b) that the Honduran government is a US supported dictatorship, and c) recognize the political and social crises throughout Central America as caused by US foreign policy.
- Call for international solidarity beyond the US and Mexico. The United Nations and Red Cross must also recognize the Humanitarian crisis at the US/Mexico Border.
- We demand freedom for incarcerated migrants now and free movement for asylum seekers. No incarceration of migrants in shelters or for-profit detention centers.
- No impunity for governments that violate international asylum agreements and processes. Prosecute officials who violate the human right to seek asylum in any country of their preference.
Although the press, and in particular CNN, wish to treat this as a concotion of the administration, it seems the thousands of hopeful immigrants in the caravans, and the organizations supporting them, also take the situation very seriously and are taking action on that seriousness.