You know the crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border is real when “America’s Newspaper” calls for action.
USA Today is hardly restrictionist on immigration policy — far from it, actually — but even its editors now agree that the record waves of asylum seekers and migrant “family units” are collapsing the system and creating a “mess.”
After again floating the dubious proposition that U.S. taxpayers dispatch billions more aid dollars to Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador to “re-establish control and order over their countries” (read: line the pockets of Northern Triangle oligarchs), a USA Today editorial promoted a better idea:
“The second best approach — one that Democrats as well as Republicans should embrace — would be to amend a 2008 anti-trafficking law so that people [FAIR clarification: specifically Unaccompanied Alien Children, otherwise known as UACs] from the three affected countries fall under the same restrictions that people from Mexico and Canada do,” USA Today opined.
“Now, only people from America’s immediate neighbors can be sent home while their applications for asylum or refugee status are pending. This has had the perverse effect of causing some desperate Central Americans to think there is a green light for them.”
The newspaper is absolutely correct.
Examining the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) last year, FAIR said the “well-intended humanitarian law, which was designed to protect minors from sex traffickers, is now being exploited.
“Minors from across the globe are now sent to our borders by families hoping to establish an immigration anchor in the United States. The overly broad provisions of the TVPRA virtually guarantee that unaccompanied minors will be admitted to the United States, and allowed to stay, in order to complete lengthy judicial proceedings that inadvertently encourage both fraud and further exploitation of children by parties savvy enough to exploit the system.”
That is exactly what is happening. Anyone with eyes can see it.
The Department of Homeland Security reported that under TVPRA and the futile catch-and-release policy it helps trigger, more than 267,000 UACs and family units were released into the interior of the U.S. from Fiscal Year 2016-2018. The current accelerating influx is on track to more than double that number before this year is out.
Yet, according to USA Today, “the president has never launched any kind of campaign to [fix TPRA], even when he had sympathetic majorities in both chambers of Congress.”
The newspaper’s ritual sniping at the White House aside, Congress must take responsibility for the law it passed eight years before Trump took office. TVPRA helped set the surge of UACs in motion, and lawmakers from both parties own this problem. They have the power to shut down a critical migrant magnet that’s magnifying a humanitarian crisis.
The American people expect commonsense, effective bipartisan action here. Isn’t it high time they got it?