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They’re coming!

4 November 2018

IN the usual “hair on fire!” style of Fox News, Bill La Jeunesse* reports that nuns** (nuns!) are assisting the migrants fleeing Honduras in getting rides through Mexico. Besides the alarmist estimates of the number of migrants passing though (the Washington Post… focusing also on the forced re-enactment of the Book of Exodus as some sort of plague upon Mexico… gives much lower, and more realistic, estimates on the number of people involved) one senses the point of the story is to discredit the nuns for doing what nuns do… or good nuns anyway. It always seemed that a good percentage of the “feelgood” World War II movies would have the nuns either sheltering the victims of the Nazis, or helping the good guys escape.

Photo: Fox News

The story, both from Fox and from the WaPo though, misses something: while the government dithers (the outgoing Peña Nieto administration afraid to confront the Trump regime, and the incoming one unable to do anything official… yet) nuns and us lesser mortals have taken up the challenge to welcome the stranger in a strange land. Small town officials are taking it on themselves to provide what care and shelter they can, truckers are (as much as they are able) taking a risk to make space for those who can ride, and … yes… nuns flagging down those truckers.

Another thing, noticed by the Post, is that the “caravan” is actually several groups, and not one monolithic mass of people. About half the original 6000 are likely to remain in Mexico, either because they feel they have at least reached a relatively safe place, or because they are simply exhausted and can go no further. And, the whole point of the caravan being that there is safety in numbers, further travel (say on trains) does kind of limit what those numbers are. And the United States border is 3000 Km long… not all the migrants are headed for the same port of entry.

Anyway, given that the migrants (however many that might be) are expected to start showing up here in the Capital sometime next week, we’re ready. Supplies are being gathered in all the delegaciones, and our health department is standing by. We took in Spanish orphans, European Jews, South Americans during the dirty ways of the 70s… we can do this.

* Too much information, but by way of full disclosure, I remember La Leunesse as a hapless J-school student working for the Syracuse University Report, driving his editor (and my roommate at the time), to distraction over his inability to understand how to organize a news story. Of course, that was 30-odd years ago, and the guy works for Fox, so I would assume his stories are sculpted to fit his corporate employer’s biases.


**  David Agren (Catholic News Service, The Guardian, etc.) posted a note on these nuns:  “These religious are part of the Missionaries of the Risen Christ. They’re nurses, physicians and psychologists based in Guadalajara, who work HIV/AIDS patients and abandoned children. When there are crises (hurricanes, earthquakes, etc) they take their ‘Angels on the Road´ ministry to wherever is needed. It should be said Caritas is providing finding for them”

2 Comments leave one →
  1. roberb7 permalink
    5 November 2018 8:36 am

    Thanks for this, Richard. The willingness of Mexicans to help out people less fortunate than themselves is one of many reasons why I love this country.

  2. 9 November 2018 5:26 pm

    What’s interesting is the contrast between what you write, the examples of charity and support, versus what I read in comments about the caravan on the Mexican News YouTube channels. There folks are positively “Trumpian” in their desire to see the migrants returned to Honduras post-haste. And they complain about bad behavior, litter, and the despoilation of donations-in-kind (abandoned clothing, blankets, etc).

    I’d love to see some actual survey data on Mexican attitudes toward the caravan. I looked around a couple of weeks ago, but couldn’t find anything. Have you seen such an inquiry?


    Kim G
    Redding, CA
    From whence we’d love to stage our own Exodus.

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