February 23, 2019

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Abroad in America: What Is True? What Is Noise? What the (Insert Extreme Word of Choice) Is Going to Happen?

Abroad in America: What Is True? What Is Noise? What the (Insert Extreme Word of Choice) Is Going to Happen?
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In a recent CNN poll, Mr. Biden led the field of potential candidates that Democrats would like to see challenge Mr. Trump.

But there are two years to go before the election! It doesn’t matter what the polls say today.

Please keep the questions and comments coming in to [email protected].

As I write this, a group of several thousand Honduran migrants is wending its way north, bound for the United States. Needless to say, President Trump, who has made curbing immigration (and building “the wall”) one of the cornerstones of his political agenda, is not at all pleased.

“You have some very, very bad people within the caravan,” including “criminals and unknown Middle Easterners,” Mr. Trump said, without providing any evidence. Laying the blame for their presence on the Democrats, he vowed to “bring out our military” and “seal off the border” in order to prevent them from crossing into United States territory.

On Monday, Pete Hegseth, co-host of one of President Trump’s favorite programs, “Fox and Friends,” agreed. “It is time to deploy the military,” he declared. “The laws are, as the president calls them, dumb.”

So are these migrants vicious criminals, as the president thinks, or are they refugees fleeing a terrible situation? In The New Yorker, Jonathan Blitzer examines the dire political and economic situation in and around Honduras and quotes a Honduran named José Luis Hernández, who first tried to flee the country at age 16 when, he said, gangsters threatened to kill him. (He had several unsuccessful attempts and at one point fell off a moving freight train, losing an arm, half of one leg and part of a hand; he finally made it and now lives in Los Angeles.)

“This is how it works,” Mr. Hernández is quoting as saying. “People making the trip see others, they see the bigger group, and they join it. These are people fleeing for their lives. It’s not some coordinated, political thing.”

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