Associated Press Deletes Tweet Calling Migrant Caravan an ‘Army’

“Some of the members of this ‘army’ are quite literally malnourished babies,” says BuzzFeed’s David Mack

Associated Press

The Associated Press deleted a tweet Sunday evening that called a large caravan of migrants from Central America a ragged “army.” The decision from the wire service came just hours after the tweet was posted and sustained heavy criticism online.

“We have deleted a tweet about the migrant caravan moving through Central America and Mexico because it lacked context. A new tweet will be posted shortly,” the AP said.

“They have said they are fleeing widespread violence, poverty and corruption in Honduras. The growing caravan of migrants has resumed its journey to the U.S,” read the corrected version moments later.

Reps for the AP referred TheWrap to their tweeted statement.

The organization came under fire Sunday evening for the tweet. Critics immediately pounded on the wire service for using the term, saying it was wrong to characterize the migrants as an invading force.

Though the tweet was later deleted, multiple screenshots of it were captured.

“Words matter. Is it @AP style to call migrants an “army”–above a photo of mothers tending to their infants and toddlers, no less?,” said Rolling Stone senior writer Jamil Smith in a tweet Sunday. “This is not only incorrect, but it enables a racist narrative sold by this @POTUS and his supporters. Armies invade. These people are running away.”

The criticism went from there.

The migrants, most of whom are from Honduras and are still thousands of miles from the U.S. border, have become a potent campaign issue. President Trump has vowed to prevent their entry into the country and has even threatened to deploy the military if need be. The scene from the caravan has been chaotic. On Friday, CNN reporter Bill Weir was pelted with tear gas and rocks as the caravan attempted to gain entry into Mexico.

On Sunday, Trump reiterated that he would fight the “onslaught.”

“Full efforts are being made to stop the onslaught of illegal aliens from crossing our Souther Border,” he said in a tweet. “People have to apply for asylum in Mexico first, and if they fail to do that, the U.S. will turn them away. The courts are asking the U.S. to do things that are not doable!”