The Dallas Morning News: People who stormed the border are making the case for border wall

November 29, 2018

Whatever one thinks of what Trump says or tweets, particularly about his hope to build a massive border wall, it doesn’t excuse migrants rushing at our border patrol. We have laws governing immigration — whether for people seeking asylum, for those looking to gain work visas or those hoping to become citizens. Immigrants must respect our laws, just as we must. Border Patrol agents used the tear gas as a last resort, not as a first option.

Sooner or later, the president or his successor will have to address the need for more resources to process asylum claims. Even in the most hopeful circumstances, with smarter immigration policy, statecraft and aid, Central America may be a generation or more from the sort of stability that curbs mass migration. We could have been, and should have been, better prepared. This crisis, after all, was a long march coming.

As things stand, the United States invests hundreds of millions of dollars for various programs aimed at assisting Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. We have asked before if that money can’t be better spent to stabilize governance in nations where gang warfare and corruption have polluted people’s hope for the future. It is not unfair to review and reconsider how that money gets disbursed, and whether negotiations must take place to determine the path forward.

The current issues with our immigration policies and related foreign policy span several presidential administrations. It didn’t start with Trump, though he’s shown more than enough willingness to throw gas on the fire. Democrats are quick to condemn, but without real solutions we’ll be witness to more conflict between desperate migrants and well-meaning border patrol agents. If confrontation and resolution continue to fall to those two groups, we will know our politicians have failed us utterly.

— The Dallas Morning News

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