Whether or not some on the left want to acknowledge it, the situation at the southern border has been in crisis mode for some time, culminating in the tragic story this week of a 3-year-old found wandering alone in a South Texas cornfield, phone number written on his shoes, after being abandoned by human traffickers. The New York Times reports:
The lone child crossing the border was not an anomaly — more than 8,900 unaccompanied children were apprehended by the Border Patrol in March, nearly twice the number seen in October.
Many were teenagers, but for years, children younger than 12 have been among those making the journey across America’s southern border without their parents or other relatives, often traveling with groups of strangers. Theirs is a harrowing, complex and dislocating saga, as children as young as 3, 4 or 5 are passed from migrant group to migrant group for days, often eventually abandoned in the deserts of Arizona or in the brush of South Texas.
How children end up on their own in the chaotic environment of the southwest border often follows a familiar pattern. Parents flee poverty and violence in countries like Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. They leave one or more of their children behind with relatives. Later, after settling in the United States, the parents send for the children they left behind, and those children make the journey with a relative or with strangers. After crossing the border, the children are often abandoned by smugglers and other migrants who believe the children will be rescued by the Border Patrol.
It is a tremendous gamble: Agents have, over the years, saved children’s lives in these situations.
What’s stunning is that it’s taken this long for open borders advocates and left-leaning pundits to begin to accept that the migrant caravans do represent a crisis of human suffering coupled with the logistical unrealities of the U.S. taking in and processing that many immigrants. It’s starting to seep in, however, but with a caveat: ok fine, there’s a crisis, stalwart liberals say, but it’s Trump’s fault.
Despite the administration’s attempts to shift blame for the chaos, make no mistake: It is Donald Trump himself who is responsible. Through misguided policies, political stunts and a failure of leadership, the president has created the conditions that allowed the asylum problem at the border to explode into a crisis. The solution to our current border troubles lies in reforming the U.S. asylum system and immigration courts and helping Central America address its challenges—not in a “big beautiful” wall or shutting down the border. Yet effective action on these issues has been missing. And the president has now so poisoned the political well with his approach that there is little hope of meaningful congressional action until after the next election. Unless the administration changes course, the immigration crisis will only continue to worsen.
Of course this is patently absurd. The U.S. has been dealing with a growing immigration problem since the 80s, and the latest waves of migrants coming up from Central America through Mexico were being community organized by leftist groups with ties to the likes of George Soros. Additionally, caravan members have explicitly complained about increasing violence in their home countries, which the new Trump administration has had nothing to do with. Those problems also go back many, many years.
But with all sides now admitting there’s a crisis, it’s at least feasible that everyone can come together and agree that crisis equals problem, and problems need solutions.
Get ready for a battle over solutions.