Many of those on this side of the border denouncing the arrivals say they are opposed only to illegal immigration. But the reason so many foreigners come illegally is that we offer no other avenue, writes Steve Chapman. The annual number of legal spots for low-skilled immigrants is 5,000—for the entire world. Even foreigners with family members living here legally may have to wait decades to be allowed in.
Central Americans in terrible straits don't have the luxury of waiting, and getting tougher won't make them more patient. Michelle Brane, director of the Migrant Rights and Justice program at the Women's Refugee Commission, says it's like using threats to keep people in a burning house: "If they're in a burning house, they're going to jump out a window, run out the door, find a way out.
We can send them home, but that won't mean we've seen the last of them, according to Chapman.