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Politics & Policy

Wildly Differing Headlines about the Migrant Caravan

Members of a migrant caravan from Central America and their supporters look through the U.S.-Mexico border wall at Border Field State Park in San Diego, Calif., April 29, 2018. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)

It’s like choose-your-own-narrative with the news headlines some days. Our Mairead McArdle does a nice job summarizing the developments with that caravan of migrants that slowly made its way north through Mexico:

At least eight women and children seeking asylum are being processed by U.S. immigration officials, and another 140 immigrants are still waiting in Mexico to turn themselves in at the border crossing, organizers of the caravan said. Two Salvadorans, six Hondurans, two Guatemalans, and a Mexican have been charged with misdemeanors and are in custody, according to federal court filings. One was deported before and faces a felony charge as well.

Notice the sums: at least eight seeking asylum and being processed; eleven were arrested for violating the law and in custody, and another 140 waiting in Mexico. Along the way, a significant number of migrants either left the caravan or chose to stay in Mexico. The first report on the caravan in BuzzFeed said “Pueblos Sin Fronteras counted about 1,200 people on the first day.”

Now look at how the day’s developments were described in headlines:

The Reuters headline: Central American ‘caravan’ women and children enter U.S., defying Trump

BBC: Caravan Migrants Cross U.S. border

Townhall: DOJ Cracks Down on Illegal Caravan With Federal Charges

All of the headlines are technically correct in part and yet not really representative of the circumstances of the whole.

Depending upon which headline the average person glances at, they could think that the caravan crossed the border intact, or that they were caught by law enforcement.


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