Our Opinion: There will be consequences

Clearly, officials in some Central and South American countries are capitalizing on U.S. domestic policies to handle some of their own problems. The fact they get to embarrass President Donald Trump’s administration seems to be a bonus for some of them.

Rampant violence and poor economies in some nations south of our border have resulted in an influx of refugees attempting to get into the United States illegally. Many are under no direct physical threat. They simply want better lives for themselves and their families.

Who can blame them?

But simply throwing open our borders is not something Americans can tolerate. There has to be a process for those seeking to come here legally.

The situation is bad enough when U.S. officials must cope with illegal immigrants who get across our border on their own. But this year, some Central American governments have decided to give them a hand, by encouraging the would-be immigrants to come here in huge caravans of hundreds, even thousands, of people.

Another one is headed this way. As of Tuesday, the mass of about 2,000 people was passing through Guatemala. its members having already been helped through by the governments of El Salvador and Honduras. To reach here, of course, they will have to transit Mexico.

Should that large a group make it to the border, probably opposite Texas, it will pose a gigantic problem for U.S. authorities. It will not be the first.

Trump already has warned that anyone, including those in the group being facilitated by Central American governments, who attempts to get into our country illegally will be turned back.

Trump also has threatened to reduce U.S. aid to the countries aiding the caravan.

Good. Such assisted mass movements may help Central American countries get rid of people they wish were gone anyway. They may help those regimes embarrass Trump.

But they are not undertaken through humanitarian impulses. The president is absolutely right to inform leaders in those countries that if they persist, there will be consequences.

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