Columns

Caravan realities—would you do it?

 

The president threatens us all with the caravan of immigrants coming up through Mexico. He talks like their arrival is imminent. Whatever it is, it ain’t imminent.

 They are 1,100 miles from Brownsville, Texas down by Guatemala. And 2000 miles from Tijuana. (Google “caravan location map”)

 Let’s assume we are in that large group of pedestrians. There are some very discouraging conditions we must navigate. We are carrying everything we own in the world. We have to eat every day. It’s hot, we have to drink water several times a day and we have to carry it if we can find it. We have to pee several times a day and ease our innards at least once; easy for men, humiliating for women. Our kids are unhappy because for them this is an unsettling trip and their short legs are exhausted. We are carrying everything we own. We can only travel as fast as the slowest person in our family unit.

 On a good day, we can walk twenty miles. Can we do that every day? Not likely. But let us assume that we are tough and don’t stop to rest. At that speed it will take 55 days to reach the nearest border at Brownsville, Texas. That assumes no days off for rest.  Only a handful of people will be physically able to do that.

 For a month each time, I have ridden bicycles in Ireland, England and France. I had money, motivation and the option to quit anytime. After three solid days of working one’s legs, the attitude goes to hell and a residual tiredness sets in when the body calls for a day of rest. It cannot be avoided.

 Let’s assume I can walk twenty miles a day for five days straight but on the sixth day I will have to rest and so does my family. That adds eleven days to the elapsed time. Now the total is 66 days to Brownsville. If my destination is Tijuana we must calculate 120 days of road time. 

My question is: would you do it?  

My thought is we should grant asylum to the survivors of this brutal trek as a reward for their heroism. They are tougher than you and me and they are just the kind of people we need in this country.

About the author

Jerry Vass