Jessica Vaughan of the anti-illegal immigration Center for Immigration Studies told me, "I understand that it is terrible in Guatemala City. Anyone would take the opportunity to move to the United States if they knew that they could do it and wouldn't be sent home." Vaughan argues that Central American families have other options -- moving to more peaceful areas in their home countries, for example. But the current "catch and release" system at the border "is a magnet for illegal immigration."
When Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., visited the border, he saw the surge as a humanitarian crisis fueled by a "misconception" -- perpetuated by human smugglers -- that border children can stay in the U.S.
Swalwell's right about the crime and this country's responsibility to offer a haven to those who truly need it. But he's wrong about the "misconception." The families of these children aren't stupid. They know that most of their children will stay. And as long as that's the case, the children will keep coming.