The Obama administration’s goal should not be to remove the children as soon as possible. Instead, it should direct the bulk of the funds it is asking for to bolster the severely overburdened immigration courts, which are best suited to determine how each child’s case should be handled, whether they qualify for asylum or should be returned home. It should do whatever possible to make this process expeditious and provide the kids with proper care and legal counsel.
Our immigration system has many problems. We only allot 5,000 visas for unskilled immigrants per year (that’s not per country, but overall). Countries like Iceland with a population of around 250,000 get the same number of visas as Mexico, which has a population of 113 million. Having such narrow channels for legal immigration has led to massive illegal immigration; the courts are backlogged for years. Lack of enforcement, however, is not the problem.