There really is an emergency at the southern border

What has happened in Guatemala to produce such a growing mass of asylum seekers? The truth appears to be some food insecurity after a failed harvest — but mostly the news that the U.S. border is effectively open, and if you bring your kids and show up, you’re home free. Nick Miroff reports in the Washington Post that “the Central American families — called ‘give-ups’ because they surrender instead of trying to sneak in — have left frustrated U.S. agents viewing their own role as little more than the facilitators for the last stage of the migrants’ journey. They are rescuing families with small children from river currents, irrigation canals, medical emergencies and freezing winter temperatures.” God bless them for this work, but the more migrants successfully get to America, the more will surely be incentivized to come…

This is not a joke. This is fraudulent mass asylum-seeking — a development very few foresaw. And under current law, I see no limiting principle. The president’s executive actions have been stymied by the courts, and rightly deemed immoral. But how do we stop this? Congress has to act to change the law that enables this. Asylum, traditionally understood, was once for those fleeing political or ethnic persecution. It wasn’t a catch-all for any economic migrant, who can be coached to say the right words to the right official. It’s a vast loophole in the immigration system — and if it isn’t fixed legislatively soon, the current massive wave will keep building.