First, what’s happening may be an outrage, but it is considerably less outrageous than attempts by other magnet states to manage an unmanageable flow of migrants. That should temper talk of “concentration camps” and similar overblown rhetoric to describe an inundated system.

If a border patrol station like the one in McAllen, Tex., is a “concentration camp,” as some progressives would have it, what language is left for the Libyan detention facilities on which the E.U. relies for its border security?

Second, decriminalizing border entry, or extending access to health benefits for illegal immigrants, as some Democratic candidates suggest, would make the crisis dramatically worse. There were roughly 132,000 apprehensions at the southern border this May, more than nine times the figure of May 2017. A de facto open border of the sort that Europe briefly had in 2015 would send the numbers even higher, leading to a political backlash that would make the current Trumpist anti-immigrant fervor seem tame.

The ugliness of current European policy is an outgrowth of its lax policies four years ago. Nobody who cares for the interests of future immigrants should want the same thing.