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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Real Refugees

The caravan of Central and South American citizens has constantly been in our news feeds. Both sides of the aisle have seemingly opposite realities of the caravan. Right-wing outlets have repeatedly described the caravan as an invasion. Left-wing media, on the other hand, describe the caravan as a group of helpless women and children. The reality stands that both of these narratives are partisan tricks used to simplify an extremely complex issue.
Let’s understand one thing; as long as the caravan doesn’t clearly attempt or make clear their attempt to illegally cross into the United States, our media should make no attempts to vilify or condemn a seemingly unorganized coalition of people looking for a better life. Terms such as migrant/immigrant, illegal immigrant, and refugee have been thrown around as seemingly interchangeable. Unpacking these terms will help unbox the complexity surrounding the immigration system of the United States.
The terms “immigrant” and “illegal immigrant” are practically opposing terms. These terms describe two distinct groups of people; an immigrant refers to someone who has legally entered the United States, while an illegal immigrant has entered the United States by overstaying a legally issued visa, or crossing the U.S. border without proper paperwork. Using the term “immigrant” to describe someone in the United States illegally is simply offensive to those who entered the United States legally.
Everyone can agree that going through a legal immigration process is a long road. I currently have an uncle who is awaiting citizenship after more than a decade-long immigration process. However, that doesn’t mean anyone wishing to enter the United States should storm the border at any cost. Our nation has laws, and anyone wishing to undermine any law, no matter how unjust we deem them to be, will be prosecuted until the root of the problem, the law, is changed.
The migrant caravan has overwhelmed the news cycle and involved both right-wing and left-wing media. These are people, not partisan pawns. Both political aisles, whether Republican or Democrat should immediately end using these people to push a political agenda. These people can be considered potential migrants, but they are not refugees. Refugees are “forcibly displaced people or specific political or religious threat or persecution.” People entering the United States for economic benefit or jobs are NOT refugees. Before we help people looking for better jobs, we have a duty to help ACTUAL refugees. One example of potential refugees that are overlooked by the media, and are arguably one of the most oppressed demographics in the world, are Christians in the Middle East. We seem to forget that even in majority-Christian nations, Christians are suffering. Christians live in Egypt, Iraq, Palestine, Iran, and even Saudi Arabia. There are most likely Christians in every Middle Eastern nation. These are the true refugees, and if you are looking to help one of the most oppressed demographic in the world, I would suggest paying attention to these people.
In conclusion, the migrant caravan is merely a political set piece, used by both Republicans and Democrats. As voters, we must ignore their attempts to either garner fear or make us falsely sympathetic. The people in this caravan were able to leave their homes in search of a better life. Christians in the Middle East live in constant fear of being killed merely because of their faith. THESE are the people that we must lend a helping hand to, and assist them in obtaining refugee status.