Author of Be Ready for Anything and Bloom Where You’re Planted online course
I have some unpopular opinions about the migrant caravan.
I’m probably going to offend both “sides” of this discussion simultaneously. Anyone who has followed my website for a while knows that I question everything and I recommend that others do the same. But questioning everything also means questioning the things that support your opinions on a topic, and I’m not seeing much of that with regard to this whole migrant caravan circus.
The group I have on Facebook is usually really peaceful and pleasant. We manage to stay away from politics and focus on preparedness. But with the migrant caravan, all bets are off. Tensions are incredibly high.
And this doesn’t serve anyone – at least not anyone whose goal is to be prepared.
Should you be aware this is happening and get prepared if you live near the border? Absolutely. That is common sense. It’s what preppers do.
Should you work yourself into a frenzy reading meme after meme? Um, NO. That doesn’t serve you or anybody else. It just scares you and half that stuff probably isn’t even true.
I know that telling people who are worked up to calm down is generally counterproductive. But for the love of Pete. We need to think this through rationally and not just react with evergrowing panic.
Here are some of the things I’ve been thinking.
Are we making a mountain out of a molehill regarding the migrant caravan?
I love a good conspiracy theory and I’m always ready to question the timing and presentation of events that get folks worked up. Often, it seems like the things people are focusing all their energy and outrage on are a distraction from what we should really be watching.
I’m not saying that this is the case with regard to the migrant caravan. Thousands of people pushing their way through a border despite attempts to stop them is something that should be watched carefully. (Assuming you believe in sovereign borders – which I do, despite my lack of worked-uppedness about this topic. But this article isn’t about border policies – not really.)
While this seems to be the biggest caravan from Central America to the United States, mass migrations are actually not unusual. Literally, hundreds of thousands of people have entered the US as refugees from Central America since the 80s, during the Reagan administration.
Because it’s happened before, of course, doesn’t mean that this time will happen in exactly the same way – that people will peaceful seek to enter the country and claim asylum. This is yet to be seen. But the important thing to note is that this is not a one-off situation. It HAS happened before and we didn’t even know about it.
Could this be another case of a bunch of people walking together for safety and support? Sure. But I don’t know for sure and neither do all the people condemning those who want strong borders, going for the sympathy support for the poor beleaguered “women and children.”
Could this be an invasion of people who aren’t actually Central Americans? Sure. But I don’t know for sure and neither do all the bloggers and news outlets who are breathlessly scaring the crap out of people.
That’s the point. WE JUST DON’T KNOW.
And most of the people saying otherwise are lying to you. Maybe not deliberately. Maybe they think that they are telling the truth because they saw an unsubstantiated report that sounded accurate to them.
Nobody knows and nobody is going to know until they get to the border.
Here are the things that don’t matter when you’re talking about survival.
And another thing.
Let me give you a little comparison here.
Every time there is a mass shooting or some horrific terror event and I write an article about what you can do if you find yourself in the situation, there’s a chorus of smug comments about how it’s a false flag so we don’t need to know what to do.
Ummm. YES. Yes, we freaking do. If someone is shooting at you, whether they’re a government flunkie wearing plain clothes and pretending to be a Russian or whether they’re legitimately batcrap crazy and just opening fire on a church, you need to know what to do to protect yourself and the ones you love. Bullets don’t care who’s firing the gun. They will pierce your body regardless of the trigger puller. And all you will care about at that moment in time, should you find yourself in the midst of a mass shooting event, is staying alive. In the moment, you won’t give two hoots and a tinker’s damn about whether it’s a false flag event.
The same thing is true about this migrant caravan.
Everyone is talking about how “George Soros” is behind the whole shindig. Is he? I have no idea. It kinda sounds like something he’d do. But will that matter if a horde of hungry people is beating down your door? You could say, “I denounce you in the name of George Soros! There, you’re busted. I know your game and you can go now!” But I doubt that this will give them any pause.
People are also talking about how “there are cars driving people.” Are there? This is evidence of nothing except that some folks got a ride. Why does this matter? How does this change your preparedness plan?
Do they all have horrible diseases? I’ve read quite a few articles about the diseases that the migrants might be carrying. I mean, it’s possible, but I can’t imagine someone with active cases of most of those illnesses could walk 1600 miles. Practice good hand hygiene and take all the other steps you’d normally take to prevent illness until we have more details.
Are the people walking to the US gang members or ISIS soldiers? I don’t know that either. Maybe they are. But again, right now, these are just assertions. Does the picture of this guy holding his fingers strangely provide “definitive proof” that he is a member of the MS13 gang? About as much as that Coast Guard guy who got busted on TV and then fired for holding his fingers strangely is definitively a white supremacist. COME ON, PEOPLE.
There are criminals and radicals everywhere, including in the United States. Statistically speaking, it would be more unusual if there were no criminals or radicals in a group of 4000-14000 people walking through Mexico. Do we want more criminals and radicals in the country? Of course not. But they’re allowed to walk through Mexico. Our ability to put a stop to their entry begins at the border. Getting hysterical about it now serves no purpose whatsoever.
Will the members of the migrant caravan be angry and just burst through the border and overrun the place? I cannot speak to their states of mind. I can tell you that when I forget to eat lunch, then it’s time to go pick up my daughter and then I get stuck in traffic and dinner is delayed even longer, I get pretty riled up. I would be highly tempted to take that Reese’s peanut butter cup that’s just sitting there on the top of her bag because she HAD lunch and she’s just taunting me with it. I, for one, get hangry (hungry and angry).
Now, think about walking 1600 miles – walking – and then you’ll probably have a general idea of how they’re feeling and how much they just want to rest and get something to eat. That might affect their temperament somewhat. Perfectly nice people, like me, get cranky when they skip lunch and they’re tired. Think about walking 1600 miles and perhaps not having much to eat and it is reasonable to assume they’ll be a bit tense.
Will the members of the caravan try and sneak through? I can tell you that a crowd of however many thousand people there are will not just “sneak” through. They’re going to be met, most likely, by our military. At that point, I hope that all involved will dip into their pools of common sense and that a peaceful interaction will occur, with people legally seeking asylum and being given the opportunity or not at the discretion of the Border Patrol.
How will it happen? Again, we don’t know. There are no crystal balls. But I haven’t been able to find any accounts of those involved in mass migrations breaching our border by the thousands.
If you’re concerned these are the productive things you can do.
If you live near the border, you might be feeling very concerned about all of this. I don’t blame you. I would probably feel concerned too. But now is your chance to be productive and practical, instead of hitting refresh on all of the websites that are feeding your panic.
This should be treated like any other Rawlsian Golden Horde. If you’re not familiar, James Wesley Rawles of SurvivalBlog fame has a very reasonable theory that in the aftermath of an event that leaves systemic failure in its wake, there will be an exodus from the cities of frantic, desperate people who will do frantic desperate things in their search for food and shelter. Mr. Rawles writes:
As the comfort level in the cities rapidly drops to nil, there will be a massive involuntary outpouring from the big cities and suburbs into the hinterboonies. This is the phenomenon that my late father, Donald Robert Rawles–a career particle physics research administrator at Lawrence Livermore Laboratories–half-jokingly called “The Golden Horde.” He was of course referring to the Mongol Horde of the 13th Century, but in a modern context. (The Mongol rulers were chosen from the ‘Golden Family’ of Temujin. Hence the term “The Golden Horde.”) I can remember as a child, my father pointing to the hills at the west end of the Livermore Valley, where we then lived. He opined: “If The Bomb ever drops, we’ll see a Golden Horde come swarming over those hills [from Oakland and beyond] of the like that the world has never seen. And they’ll be very unpleasant, believe you me!”
…Here is a mental exercise: Put yourself in the mind set of Mr. Joe Sixpack, Suburbanite. (Visualize him in or near a big city near where you live.) He is unprepared. He has less than one week’s food on hand, he has a 12 gauge pump action shotgun that he hasn’t fired in years, and just half a tank of gas in his minivan and maybe a gallon or two in a can that he keeps on hand for his lawn mower. Then TEOTWAWKI hits. The power grid is down, his job is history, the toilet doesn’t flush, and water no longer magically comes cascading from the tap. There are riots beginning in his city. The local service stations have run out of gas. The banks have closed. Now he is suddenly desperate. Where will he go? What will he do?
Odds are, Joe will think: “I’ve gotta go find a vacation cabin somewhere, up in the mountains, where some rich dude only goes a few weeks out of each year.” So vacation destinations like Lake Tahoe, Lake Arrowhead, and Squaw Valley, California; Prescott and Sedona, Arizona; Hot Springs, Arkansas; Vail and Steamboat Springs, Colorado; and the other various rural ski, spa, Great Lakes, and coastal resort areas will get swarmed. Or, he will think: “I’ve got to go to where they grow food.” So places like the Imperial Valley, the Willamette Valley, and the Red River Valley will similarly get overrun. There will be so many desperate Joe Sixpacks arriving all at once that these areas will degenerate into free-fire zones. It will be an intensely ugly situation and will not be safe for anyone. (source)
In my opinion, should somehow our border be breached and thousands of hungry, angry migrants come pouring in, a worst-case scenario could be something like what Mr. Rawles describes above. How do you prepare for something like that?
A few things to consider for those near the border are:
- Talk to your neighbors and join forces with like-minded people. You can’t go it alone against thousands of hungry people. Or even dozens. There’s strength in numbers. I’d suggest avoiding the militant type who have lost their grasp on reality and are calling it “war.” Those guys will just make things worse.
- Increase your home security. It’s very likely that if a bunch of people broke through the border, they’d scatter to be more difficult to find. Harden your home so that it’s more difficult to get into. Make it look uninviting. Check your fences. Maybe even add barbed wire if you’re really worried.
- Be armed. I’ve written before about the importance of being armed and this, to me, seems like the best time ever to have a firearm that you know how to use. Be cautious, though. If you are greatly outnumbered and you run through your ammo shooting at people, you are just going to tick off the ones you didn’t hit. And you’re going to have a really bad time because perhaps you just killed that guy’s brother or best friend. Not good.
- Lay low. If things get crazy, it isn’t a great time to walk the dog or go for a scenic drive. Stay home and away from the chaos. Make sure you have the supplies to hunker down for a while if you need to do so.
- Bug out. Alternatively, if you’re really scared, it’s okay to leave and go stay with friends or family for a while when the caravan gets closer. Bugging out is an option. This is not the Alamo and you are under no obligation to stay and defend your home. It’s a personal decision that everyone must make for themselves.
Don’t panic though. Panic causes us to do stupid things and make terrible mistakes that we can’t undo.
This drama is just feeding the division in our country.
The thing about this that burns me up the most is the way it is feeding the division that is already horrible in our country. Nobody – NOBODY – seems to be able to scroll on past when someone else mentions the caravan. I know that my group is just a teeny microcosm of it all, but what I saw in there concerns me greatly.
Folks have gotten so wound up over this thing about which we do not know all the facts that they have pretty much lost their dang minds. There’s no reason. There’s no humanity.
I saw an informal poll on social media in which 51% of the people agreed all immigrants should be shot at the border. SHOT. What a bunch of bullsh*t that is. And it isn’t original either. Last summer some people in Oregon had a conversation on social media about what a “great idea” it would be to save us some money.
Are we really so terrified of people who speak Spanish that we’d shoot mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers without knowing anything else about them? Without being threatened? If people were to enact such a hateful policy, how long would it be before innocent people with brown skin who are here in the country legally became victims?
I have been an immigrant when I married a Canadian. My daughter has immigrated to the United States after her dad died. I’m certainly thankful no one decided to shoot us on sight.
We have a process for dealing with this, and hopefully, it will work. I don’t want to see the military open fire on a bunch of people who just walked 1600 miles.
And it isn’t actually the members of the migrant caravan whom I’m concerned about with turning the US into a war zone. It’s Americans who can no longer find a way to get along. It’s the people who think that anyone who wants strong borders is actually Hitler in disguise. It’s the people who think that immigrants are something less than human beings. It’s the people who can’t have a peaceful conversation about how to prepare for this situation without devolving into the virtual version of a hair-pulling fight.
The real problem is our inability to get along anymore in this country. The real problem is the propaganda that is just widening that rift further and further apart. The real problem is our inability to have a freaking conversation and actually listen to the other person’s potentially valid points.
The real threat isn’t a few thousand people at the border, but the tens of thousands of Americans who will react in outrage no matter what happens at the border with regard to this migrant caravan.
And I’m talking to YOU. The conservatives. The liberals. All of you who just can’t seem to find any kind of common ground anymore.
This issue is not black and white. There are many shades of gray. I fear that no matter what happens at the border upon the arrival of those seeking asylum, that all hell will still break loose in America in response to that. So even those of us nowhere near the border need to consider preparing for widespread civil unrest. It’s probably going to happen and it’ll probably be a much greater threat than the migrants themselves.
My advice is this:
- Be a decent human being
- Treat others as human beings
- Don’t get sucked into the manufactured hysteria
And be prepared for anything.
What are your thoughts?
If you read this almost 3000-word rant, I’d love to hear what you have to say. Please try and keep it civil and focused on what we can reasonably do to be prepared.