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Tough talk or lack of understanding: Reaction to President's caravan comments

Posted at 11:28 PM, Oct 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-23 09:10:34-04

A Las Vegas immigration attorney said President Donald Trump's comments on the caravan of migrants heading toward the U.S. border showed a "lack of understanding" while a supporter said the comments were the President's typical "tough talk."

The President making the comments on Twitter.

Mayra Salinas-Menjivar, an attorney with UNLV's Immigration Clinic, said the comments were a misrepresentation of the group of hundreds of people marching toward the United States border. Most expected to seek asylum in the U.S. after leaving in fear of violence in their home countries or lives of extreme poverty.

"To me, it just signals a lack of understanding of the situation both in the region and how people are impacted.  It just seems completely misguided and misunderstood," Salinas-Menjivar said.

Through the organization, the attorney represents children who have come to the country in asylum cases.  Salinas-Manjivar herself came to the U.S. from El Salvador when she was just 7 years old.

 "Although there are multiple people in this caravan, they are all coming from different places.  They are all different people. We need to look at each person individually," Salinas-Menjivar said.

Those who support President Trump said they understand the need to slow the flow of immigrants into the United States, although they feel for those in the caravan.

"He is trying to do this by speaking against it," Jesus Marquez said explaining his support of President Trump's statements. "What he meant really is we are going to cut your aid temporarily until you fix this situation."

Marquez, who is a Republican strategist, said he sees the statements as the President's way of putting pressure on lawmakers in those countries as well as Congress to make a change.

"This tough talk has worked and we have got good deals out of it," Marquez said.

What remains to be seen is what will happen if that caravan reaches its intended destination at the U.S. border.