Using the word invasion as a substitute for illegal migration is both offensive to anyone who’s lived through a real one and insulting to the intelligence of everyone else. If you can’t tell the difference between 100,000 Germans arriving in Paris at the head of an army in 1940, and 100,000 Germans arriving in Paris today as tourists, it’s time to crack open a history book, not opine on immigration policy. Perhaps because they know the comparison to an invasion is so weak, nativists like former President Donald Trump also promulgate the risible conspiracy theory that foreign governments are “sending” the immigrants here.
Migration across the border may involve violations of U.S. laws, but the comparison to an invasion ends there. Border crossers aren’t coming to overthrow the government or take over the Capitol (unlike a few nativists this year). Indeed, it’s the U.S. government that is attempting to assail the migrants, not the other way around. People crossing the border actively try to avoid conflict with U.S. authorities either by 1) evading detection and peacefully moving to their destinations, or 2) intentionally seeking out U.S. agents to submit to the government’s legal procedures. Reporting from the frontlines of this supposed conquest, The Wall Street Journal described how some invaders were inquiring for directions to the closest “immigration office.”