Trump’s Trap

The more migrants from Mesoamerica* who stream toward the border, the more urgently the American Democrats need to propose their own solutions.

The dumbest argument against Donald Trump’s wall was always the assertion that the president was trying to combat a crisis that didn’t even exist. Families, especially, from Central America are streaming into the United States, and the country is poorly prepared to deal with the arrival of minors.

But a border fence of any height would change little, because almost all families are petitioning for asylum, which they can do at any crossing. Congress must quickly pull itself together to find an answer. On the one hand, arrival procedures are needed that are appropriate for children but, at the same time, don’t entice more families to flee north. On the other hand, a new approach is needed to address the factors behind emigration from the violence ridden countries of El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.

In his typical way of giving the crisis partisan overtones, Trump gives the opposition numerous reasons to refuse any cooperation. But the stronger the push of migrants becomes, the more urgently the Democrats need to propose their own solutions. Otherwise, they’re sitting in Trump’s trap.

*Editor’s note: Mesoamerica is a region that includes parts of what is now Mexico and Central America.

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