Our Opinion: A rock and a hard place to enter
Unless they find motorized transport, the at least 7,000 Central Americans trudging on foot through Mexico will not arrive at their destination, the U.S. border, for three to six weeks.
U.S. officials will need all the time they can get to prepare for the small army’s arrival.
Use of caravans has become a popular strategy for those seeking to enter the United States illegally. The current effort appears to be the largest ever seen.
It has become a political tool for opponents of President Donald Trump’s plan to crack down on illegal immigration. It is even possible financial backing for the caravan is coming from his foes, either foreign or domestic.
Trump has vowed those in the caravan will not be allowed to enter this country illegally. But stopping a mass assault on the border by that many people will be difficult, even if, as Trump has vowed, he calls on the military to stop the immigrants.
Let us leave aside the political aspects of the caravan for a moment, and consider what may happen if those in the group are encouraged to use the weight of their number to force their way into the United States.
How can such a human wave be stopped without harming those in it?
Trump has warned that some of those in the caravan are men whose intent is to get into this country for criminal purposes. Denying that is so, as many liberals have, does not pass the common-sense test.
But there are many women and children in the group. A substantial number of adults, assuredly, want no more than better lives for their children.
Will those lives be put at risk once the caravan reaches the border?
Simply standing aside and allowing that many people to walk into the United States illegally would be foolish. It would invite an endless stream of similar caravans. But finding a way to keep them out without harming the would-be immigrants — especially the children — needs to be a priority. If Trump has not made that clear to immigration and military officials, he should do so immediately.