TIJUANA.- The group that organized a monthlong caravan of Central Americans seeking asylum in the United States wanted to draw attention to the plight of people fleeing violence. If headlines are any measure, it has been a smashing success.
President Donald Trump and Cabinet members have called the caravan a deliberate attempt to overwhelm U.S. authorities and proof that more must be done to secure the border with Mexico, including construction of a wall.
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The rhetoric from the White House and its allies has also fueled an outpouring of support from Mexicans and Americans, with food and other staples, financial contributions, free legal advice and offers of a place to live in the U.S. Roberto Corona, founder of Pueblo Sin Fronteras, considers the intense spotlight a mixed blessing.
It has raised public awareness of the toll of violence in Central America, but he said it may sharpen a crackdown by the U.S. government. “We want to show the humanity of this, not the politics,” Corona said. “It’s not about the wall.”
Caravan organizers have been pilloried by the Trump administration. Vice President Mike Pence said during a California border tour Monday that the asylum seekers were being “exploited by open-border political activists and an agenda-driven media.”