Trump's Latest Manufactured Border Crisis - Define American

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Trump's Latest Manufactured Border Crisis

Let’s actually look at the root causes of migration from Central America. And let’s not forget that margaritas, avocados, and keeping families together are as American as apple pie.

We are in the midst of a shift in migration patterns—from migrant workers to families fleeing violence—at our Southern border. We have noticed several media outlets simply regurgitating government talking points in their stories. All of these threads are actually a part of the same phenomena: a full-court press from the Trump Administration to fundamentally change the way our country views immigration.


Cutting off aid to Central America will make the situation worse – Vox, NYT, CNN

  • After months of threats, President Donald Trump has officially moved to cut off aid to Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. The Administration’s messaging is that three entire countries should be punished because their residents are seeking refuge in the U.S.
  • Let’s be clear here: These families are fleeing these countries because they are attempting to escape violence. Many experts in Trump’s own administration believe this move will only worsen the border crisis. Also, they are not “Mexican countries.”
  • This is all right out of the Trump playbook. Recall that the first Muslim ban was hastily applied, on purpose, to wreak havoc for travelers, appeal to his base, and get frantic media attention. The real victims—families separated from loved ones, students, and refugees—suffered beneath the headlines.

Shutting down the southern border only hurts America  – NBC, Today, NYT

  • President Donald Trump’s threat to shut down the U.S.-Mexico border would hit American consumers in the gut, cutting access to everything from avocado toast to margaritas. We think most Americans would agree that these items have become part of the national diet, as American as, say, apple pie.

U.S. government does not have to cage migrant families – The Cut, Texas Tribune, LA Times

  • It’s easy for the Administration to score points with rhetoric about foreign aid and liberal millennial dependence on avocados. But there are real consequences to these policies for thousands of migrant families. We all saw the images from El Paso—images the Administration may have wanted us to see. What will our nation’s response be to those brazen photo ops?
  • Why is Trump cutting off foreign aid, threatening to seal the Southern border, and continuing to cage migrant families? He wants to depict border communities as dangerous, lawless places, filled with a sense of chaos that he has helped sow. Is that how you see them? Let’s tell the American people what border communities are really like.

ABOUT DEFINE AMERICAN: Define American is the nation’s leading nonprofit media organization that fights injustice and anti-immigrant hate through the power of storytelling. Through event curation, media consulting and creation, and grassroots organizing, Define American jumpstarts widespread culture change around citizenship, race, and identity in a changing America. It was founded in 2011 by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and Emmy-nominated filmmaker Jose Antonio Vargas. For more information, visit

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