Never in our long history have we seen an event as devastating as what occurred this week in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. After the government shutdown ended, thousands of immigrants—undocumented immigrants—celebrated their return to the United States. They traveled through dangerous, hostile terrain, risking their lives to reach safe haven and hope.
Sadly, a far fewer number of them survived to celebrate their new lives. After establishing themselves in safe conditions for several days, they were threatened by violent groups of local ranchers and Texas border patrol agents, some of whom personally blocked their route into the United States. Today we are beginning to learn more details about their ordeal. They found themselves in bad situations—illegal immigrants trying to obtain legal documents were exposed to criminals.
There is no sign that we are going to see an actual solution any time soon. After the wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, there is only a defined window of opportunity to find a compromise that will bring back money to Border Patrol agents, create a mechanism to streamline and reduce deportations, stop the efforts to build detention facilities for immigrant children, and restore the government funds that were cut off by the shutdown.
We urge the president, Democrats and Republicans to work together on a realistic plan that creates real urgency and creates a pathway for compromise.