- The Washington Times - Friday, October 26, 2018

President Donald Trump is mulling an executive order that would stop the caravan in its tracks and send the thousands and thousands of people trying to cross America’s borders back to their homes.

That makes perfect sense.

It’s a viable solution that would lead to a redefining of asylum seekers — a honing, of sorts, of the criteria that determines who gets into the country versus who gets refused.

The left will fight. But remember the travel ban? This is the same left that was just slapped by the Supreme Court when justices ruled Trump does indeed have the power to keep out those deemed “detrimental to the interests of the United States.”

With that court wind at his back, Trump stands a good chance of defeating any legal challenges to come over an executive order that has the practical effect of stopping this caravan in its tracks.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported the order is still in the developing stage, and could be tossed before making it to the president’s desk for signature.

“The situation remains fluid, and many options to deal with the caravan remain on the table,” CNN cited one Department of Homeland Security official as saying.

But the alternatives are messier. One alternative to the more peaceable paper and pen approach of holding up the caravan, for example, brings out the military. 

“Mattis Expected to Send 800 Troops to Border,” a recent National Review headline blasted, in a piece about the Secretary of Defense James Mattis’s looming actions on the border. That’s in addition to the 2,100 or so National Guard troops sent to help with border issues by Mattis in April.

And Trump hasn’t stood down any on his messaging about using the military to stop the caravan.

“Sadly,” he tweeted, “it looks like Mexico’s Police and Military are unable to stop the Caravan heading to the Southern Border of the United States. Criminals and unknown Middle Easterners are mixed in. I have alerted Border Patrol and Military that this is a National [Emergency]. Must change laws!”

Democrats are pretty much silent on the matter. Republicans?

“The Migrant Caravan May Give Republicans The Midterm Push They Need,” one headline from the Federalist rang.

“Migrant Caravan a Political Gift to Trump & Republicans,” another on RealClearPolitics sang.

It’s true — the televised images of the scores of foreign flag-wavers marching toward America don’t exactly scream Vote Democrat. On this, the Republicans are winning.

On this, the White House is scoring well.

Now if Trump can finagle a way to turn back the caravan without adding fuel to the fire — without giving the left, say, the propaganda images of U.S. officials clashing with the infiltrators — by using a Barack Obama special, i.e., a cellphone and a pen, well then, all the better for this administration. All the better for campaigning Republicans. All the better for this country.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley.

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