Jennifer Zilly Canales is a U.S. citizen who married a Honduran 5 years ago…
She and her husband operate the Living Waters Children’s Ranch on the northern coast of Honduras.
They have parented 11 orphaned and abandoned Honduran children and teens … 7 of which currently live with them in their small cinderblock home on the outskirts of El Pino.
They know all about the living conditions and daily hardships of the Honduran people. They intentionally live without air-conditioning, TV, high-speed internet … and without a washing machine or dishwasher.
Mrs. Canales – and many of her Honduran neighbors – find the caravans of Hondurans and other Central Americans parading toward the U.S. border troubling. Here are the reasons why:
1. The caravan organizers have violated international laws and have broken down police barricades – and they encourage caravaners to do the same.
Breaking the law on the way to the U.S. … or breaking the law while entering the U.S. … is not the proper behavior for people seeking political asylum. Nor does breaking the law to get into the U.S. indicate an intention to be law-abiding once inside the U.S.
Not everyone traveling in the caravans is seeking asylum in the U.S.
The caravaners are a mixture of legitimate asylum-seekers, illegitimate asylum-seekers … and non-asylum seekers.
The caravaners were offered asylum and permanent residency in Mexico, but almost all refused it. They insisted they wanted to claim asylum in the U.S., not Mexico.
Watch this video on the subject of who organized, promoted, and financed the caravan with food, water, medical treatment and transportation for women, young children and infants (approximately 6 ½ minutes)
2. Thousands of uneducated immigrants entering the U.S. in a short period of time will cause incalculable political and economic chaos.
There isn’t sufficient housing in the U.S. for a sudden influx of thousands of immigrants and refugees.
There aren’t sufficient funds or resources – such as doctors and clinics – to provide healthcare for a sudden influx of thousands of new immigrants and refugees.
There aren’t sufficient jobs in the U.S. for a sudden influx of thousands of uneducated and unskilled immigrants and refugees…
It’s not even harvest season, so the able-bodied immigrants can’t be put to work picking crops.
Who’s going to house them? Who’s going to feed them? Who’s going to clothe them? Who’s going to treat them and the rest of the U.S. citizenry for the diseases they’re bringing into the country?
3. Unpunished violence and crime is a problem in Honduras, but wanting to escape poverty and crime … or wanting to seek a better life in America … are not legitimate reasons to ask for or demand asylum in the U.S.
Mrs. Canales’ brother-in-law was shot dead at point-blank range 2 years ago…
No police action was taken even after several reports with eyewitness testimony were filed.
Mr. Canales himself was kidnapped and brutally beaten by local gang lords 3 years ago…
After he escaped, local authorities were apathetic about trying to capture his attackers.
When cattle thieves stole and killed their 2 milking cows, local police shrugged and told Mrs. Canales that such crimes should be expected in their area of Honduras.
4. Many educated Hondurans who work the same professional jobs as Americans earn about a tenth of what Americans earn in the U.S.
Jennifer Canales’ first job I in Honduras was as a bilingual elementary school teacher. She worked 8 to 10 hours per day, 5 days per week and earned the equivalent of $330 per month.
Many Hondurans live off a similar salary (or less.) That kind of budget eliminates all luxuries, but one can survive … Over 9 million Hondurans do so every day.
5. Many of the youth in Honduras have educational and employment opportunities … but choose to turn them down.
The Living Waters Ranch school in rural El Pino has offered free, high-quality education and character development to over 100 at-risk Honduran youth during the past 5 years.
More than half of those students have walked out – left before graduation – because they had no interest in learning or in preparing for their future.
Mr. and Mrs. Canales made repeated attempts to visit the kids in their homes, counsel their parents, and encourage them to seek God in their lives … all to no avail.
These kids now – according to Mrs. Canales – “zip up and down gravel roads on their bikes… falling into the traps that drugs, petty crime and sexual promiscuity present.”
6. The false promises offered by caravan organizers result in broken marriages and abandonment of children.
Pueblo Sin Fronteras (People without Borders) and other caravan organizers promise migrants that they will be able to enter the U.S. easily and claim asylum … and then live off of free benefits from the U.S. government.
The little Central American girl who became famous when Time magazine placed her photoshopped picture on its cover along with President Trump had left home with her mom – without her dad’s knowledge.
Families often split up, with one parent taking the children on the dangerous journey to the U.S … while the other parent stays home.
When the large caravan was forming in Honduras recently, a single father who had his 3 children enrolled in the Living Waters Ranch school suddenly withdrew them and joined the caravan. The children were later detained in the capital city of Honduras – and presumably were placed in an orphanage – while the father continued the march.
Thousands of migrants now camped out at the Benito Juarez sports complex in Tijuana are angry … and say they were lied to by the caravan organizers.
7. The Hondurans who stay behind are hurt by the Hondurans who choose to flee.
The misguided mindset of those who join caravans for the wrong reasons affects many of those who choose to stay. It also dilutes their efforts and effectiveness in bringing about positive changes within local government agencies.
While some who leave are indeed refugees seeking legitimate political asylum, others are simply fleeing difficult, but not dire, conditions. It’s not impossible to forge a humble living in Honduras … although it’s true that corruption, lack of opportunities and violence abound.
However, if conditions are to improve within Honduras, the people of Honduras themselves must rise up en masse and demand improved services and an end to corruption. Change in government policies cannot be forced upon the government by the U.S. or by other outside forces.
As a Christian, my heart goes out to the Central American people – both those who are trying to enter the U.S. and those who are living under difficult conditions in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.
As a Christian, it makes my heart sick to see people suffering such terrible living conditions.
I pray that the Christian churches will join together and go down to the U.S. – Mexico border and help the migrants with food, water, clothing, blankets and medical supplies.
The Mexican government isn’t going to do it … and the U.S. government isn’t going to do it.
And they shouldn’t.
Neither the Mexican government nor the U.S. government is responsible for what has happened. These people have brought their terrible circumstances upon themselves by making the ill-advised and dangerous journey from their home countries to the U.S. – Mexico border.
Those who blame President Trump for stopping the caravan from streaming across the border into the U.S. want:
• Totally open borders
• Unlimited “immigration” into the U.S. by anyone from anywhere in the world
• No vetting of immigrants
• No immigration process or rules or quota or limits
What they are really asking for – what they are demanding – is the obliteration of the United States of America.
A nation without borders is not a nation.
Watch this video news report by Sara Carter, reporting from the caravan when it was in Guatemala (11 minutes):
What do you think? Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org