Controversial caravans

Many students believe migrants should be given asylum

The exact number of Central American migrants currently approaching the U.S. has been difficult to estimate, but the New York Times reports there could be as many as several thousands of people in the caravans.

Most of the immigrants will likely be seeking asylum in the U.S., which is defined by the American Immigration Council (AIC) as “a protection granted to foreign nationals already in the United States or at the border who meet the international law definition of a ‘refugee.’”

According to the AIC, a refugee is “a person unable or unwilling to return to his or her home country, and cannot obtain protection in that country, due to past persecution or a well-founded fear of being persecuted in the future ‘on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion.’”

Ferris nuclear medicine technology junior Ali Hanasaid he supports the rights of asylum for the migrants.

“They shouldn’t be different than any other people here, because we are all equal no matter who you are. Maybe whatever happened in their country or in their life, we should give them a better chance now,” Hanasaid.

According to CNN, potential reasons for the formation of the caravans include drug trafficking, organized crime, corruption, absence of democracy and climate change in the migrants’ home countries.

President Donald Trump has demonstrated public opposition to the caravans, announced a plan to cut back on immigrants’ ability to request asylum and said there was “rampant abuse” of the U.S.’s asylum system, according to an article from USA Today.

Many Ferris students expressed disagreement with Trump’s views. Ferris psychology sophomore Amanda Zeller said the migrants should be granted asylum and that Trump’s views are on the wrong side.

“I feel like they should, especially the fact that we have so many abandoned places that aren’t being used that can just get fixed up for them,” Zeller said. “I feel like it’s more on the wrong side just because it is supposed to be the land of the free.”

The Washington Post gives further insight into the President’s opposition, stating that while the estimated 5,000 to 10,000 caravan travelers in total account for only 10 to 20 percent of the 50,000 or so monthly arrests at the border, the Trump administration views the caravans as a crisis to its enforcement model.

Ferris criminal justice freshman Zackary Wallace said that he can see President Trump’s point of view, but that asylum should still be granted.

“I think so, because you know, there’s a reason why they’re leaving and trying to come to the United States,” Wallace said. “I can kind of see where he’s coming from, like we don’t want so many people coming in and such, but also you have to think these people want to come to America.”