Calming down about the caravan

Count David French of National Review Online out of the group of pundits and prognosticators offering over-the-top warnings about the impact of a migrant caravan south of the border.

If you believe that America is and should remain a nation of laws and borders — and if you understand the logistical and physical challenges of walking 1,000 miles through Mexico — there is a relatively simple, firm way to respond to migrant caravans.

To the migrants, the message is simple. The United States will secure its border and enforce its immigration laws. In accordance with those laws, it will summarily deport illegal entrants and interpret its asylum statutes in accordance with their meaning and purpose. If you do complete the journey, you will not be released into the American interior but instead held at the border. Rather than risk a fruitless journey, it is better to turn back now.

To Americans, the message is equally clear. There is no cause for alarm. To the extent that members of the migrant caravan do complete their trek through Mexico, they will not be permitted to storm border crossings, and we have sufficient resources to secure our border and enforce our laws. We will apply those laws fairly and treat migrants humanely, but we will apply the law.

In other words, we can handle this. The migrant caravan is not an emergency. In fact, unless and until it gets hundreds of miles closer (while still retaining its size), there’s not even all that much cause for concern. Even if it arrives in some strength, there is no way for a group that size to sneak across the border, and the most powerful nation in the world has more than enough resources to meet the migrants when they attempt to cross, detain them, and begin the necessary legal proceedings.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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