MATTHEW BOOSE: Tijuana caravan protests show absurdity of open borders

November 23, 2018

After the media spent weeks tut-tutting about the caravan, narrative has collided with reality as thousands of migrants have been met with an angry reception in the border city of Tijuana, Mexico.

Hundreds of the city’s residents have formed together to demand that the migrants leave. Their mantra: Mexico first.

The mayor of Tijuana has said that his city is not ready to absorb the caravan, which he compared to a “tsunami” and an “avalanche.” Angry residents have harassed the migrants with rocks and hurled punches and insults at them.

Going off what the left has been saying about Trump and other caravan detractors these past few weeks, these angry demonstrators must be paranoid and racist.

In fact, Bill Maher compared President Donald Trump to a “racist Paul Revere” stoking irrational fears that “the migrants are coming.”

Barack Obama mocked Trump’s response to the caravan at a campaign rally, calling it a “political stunt.”

CNN’s Jim Acosta summarized the media’s aloofness when lecturing the president that the caravan was still hundreds of miles away, an obtuse way of saying that the caravan basically doesn’t exist.

But it does. It’s here. And Tijuanans are feeling the impact.

Dismissing the unthinkable possibility that the protesters care about their country and want it to prosper, the left has blamed an irrational flare-up of racism, possibly stemming from Donald Trump, for the Tijuanans’ lack of support of the caravan.

Yes, the U.S. president who they argue started his 2016 campaign by saying outrageously offensive things about Mexico has now won over Mexicans with his “racist” nationalism.

Obviously, there are similarities in the rhetoric — the city’s mayor has even been sporting a “Make Tijuana Great Again” hat — but to blame the Tijuanan protesters’ anger on racism is unfair and absurd.

The Tijuanans standing against the caravan have reasonable and familiar complaints. They’re fearful of criminals being smuggled in. Tijuana already has a high homicide rate. They have their own people to look after. Mexico has enough of its own problems, and they’re wary of being taken advantage of.

Many are also angry and upset that the migrants entered by force. A majority of the caravan’s migrants have already rejected offers of asylum from Mexico, so they are basically squatting while waiting for a better opportunity.

Some of the migrants have even expressed ingratitude. A small number have been arrested and are going to be deported for drug offenses.

“We work hard here. We don’t get handouts. The government shouldn’t be giving things to migrants when plenty of Mexicans are in a difficult position,” one demonstrator said.

“Donald Trump was right, this is an invasion! What Donald Trump said was correct: this is an invasion!” another said.

“[Trump]’s defending his border, unlike our president,” said another protester. “Now there will be more violence in Tijuana.”

To the left, these demonstrators have been seduced against their better nature by racism. The left can’t imagine that rational, good people might have reasons to look out for their own cities and countries. So they’re left wondering: “Is xenophobia growing in Mexico?”

The message is clear: it’s unusual, wrong, and sinful for people to feel protective of their nations. The normal, good, forward-thinking thing is to accept mass migration — no matter the scale, no matter the consequences.

Migrants fleeing poverty and violence deserve sympathy. But mass migration isn’t a solution to the root problems causing them to leave their home countries.

There are simple, logistical questions about mass migration that the left doesn’t have answers for. Thousands have arrived in Tijuana, and thousands more are expected to come. They may be there for months while waiting to cross into America.

The sports stadium in Tijuana serving as a make-shift shelter is already over capacity. How will the city house the additional thousands of incoming migrants? Who will provide them with jobs? What will happen to the laborers already living there?

To the liberal elite, these aren’t concerns, because mass migration doesn’t affect them. For all their sanctimony and faux-concern, they don’t have any skin in the game. They encourage illegal immigration because they know that foreign laborers won’t be competing for their jobs or coming to their zip codes.

For Jim Acosta, the caravan might as well be on Venus. He doesn’t have to worry about losing his job any time soon.

The left’s constant shaming of national pride shows a growing rift between people who can afford to not care about outsourcing or street crime or unraveling social order and those who have a stake in maintaining a basic level of economic and social well-being in their home countries.

The liberal elites have embraced an ideology of borderlessness that makes people who still love and feel tied to their homes the enemy. This worldview imagines national pride as some kind of aberration or leprosy that needs to be quarantined.

The anti-immigrant demonstrations in Tijuana are small, but that doesn’t make them irrational or wrong. Of course, violence and harassment are inexcusable. But the demonstrators can hardly be blamed for feeling besieged.

The common link between Tijuanans and Americans who are angry about the caravan isn’t racism, but national pride and a logical sense of self-preservation. It’s normal and good for people to worry about their country and the welfare of their fellow citizens before strangers they know nothing about.

It’s absurd and patronizing to expect otherwise.


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Matthew Boose

Matthew Boose is a staff writer for Conservative Institute. He has a Bachelor's degree from Stony Brook University and has contributed to The Daily Caller and The Stony Brook Press.