Adam Isacson

Still trying to understand Latin America, my own country, and why so few consequences are intended. These views are not necessarily my employer’s.

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January 2019

The asylum process can be manageable—and Mexico is giving it a try

Incredibly, about 60 percent of migrants being apprehended, or showing up without documents, at the U.S.-Mexico border are now children and families. Most are asking for asylum in the United States. (Mexico, too, has seen a fourteen-fold increase in asylum-seekers since 2014.) That has never happened before. Take away that population, and the number of […]

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The day ahead: January 18, 2019

I should be reachable much of the day. (How to contact me) My hands barely touched a keyboard the past few days, due to an average of over eight hours per day of meetings and phone calls. I haven’t even posted news links here since Tuesday. My calendar is much clearer today, though, and I hope […]

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Congress Page Revived

I’ve just updated a resource that I created two years ago and—I hate to admit—failed to update much over the past year. But it works again now, so give it a spin sometime, it’s pretty cool. It’s a database-driven little web app called “Narrow Down Congress” (narrowdown.org). It does one thing: classify members of the […]

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The day ahead: January 17, 2019

I’ll be reachable in the latter part of the afternoon. (How to contact me) This morning I’m meeting a Canadian diplomat, having an informational interview with a colleague’s contact, and talking to 2 reporters. I’ve got a dental checkup in the afternoon. Otherwise I’m around and processing my notes from last week’s border trip. With […]

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The day ahead: January 16, 2019

I’ll be hard to contact today. (How to contact me) I’ve got eight hours of solid back-to-back meetings on the calendar today. Most of it is WOLA’s internal planning process, plus coffee with a colleague working on Colombia and a call with a journalist. I will hardly be able to answer calls, texts, or emails […]

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Some articles I found interesting this morning

(Even more here) January 15, 2019 Western Hemisphere Regional Mihir Zaveri, “Pentagon Extends Troop Deployment at Mexican Border Through September” (The New York Times, January 15, 2019). It’s not clear exactly how many troops are currently at the border or how the number is expected to change — a Pentagon official said in November that […]

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The day ahead: January 15, 2019

I should be reachable for much of the morning. (How to contact me) I’m looking at a few hours of internal planning meetings today, and a coffee with a European diplomat who covers Latin America. The government and WOLA are on a delayed opening this morning because of Sunday’s snow; I’ll be spending that time […]

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Some articles I found interesting this morning

(Even more here) January 14, 2019 Western Hemisphere Regional Greg Grandin, “The Border Patrol Has Been a Cult of Brutality Since 1924” (The Intercept, January 14, 2019). “Practically every other member” of El Paso’s National Guard “was in the Klan,” one military officer recalled, and many had joined the Border Patrol upon its establishment Christopher […]

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I was right about Venezuela in 1999—but I didn’t do enough about it.

Francisco Toro and James Bosworth, founders of two of the longest-running Latin America blogs (Caracas Chronicles and Bloggings by Boz, respectively), have a good column on the Washington Post website today, warning about how authoritarian populist leaders—right or left—screw up their countries’ delicate civil-military relations. There seems to be something about men in uniform that […]

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The day ahead: January 14, 2019

I should be reachable much of the day. (How to contact me) After returning from the border on Saturday, I’d expected to have four hours of planning meetings and a dentist checkup on today’s schedule. So I spent too much of Sunday clearing out work inboxes in anticipation of that, while snow kept falling outside. It […]

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Latin America-related events in Washington this week

Tuesday, January 15 2:30-4:00 at CSIS: Multilateral Institutions and an Illegitimate Regime in Venezuela (RSVP required). Friday, January 18 2:15-3:30 at Georgetown University: El Salvador 2019: Perspectives from presidential candidate Nayib Bukele (RSVP required).

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Last day at the border, for now

Go to the New York Times right now, and there’s a video on the front page from Tijuana, where I spent the last 2 days. Look really closely and you can see me very briefly, lurking by the San Diego-Tijuana port of entry very early Wednesday morning: Here’s a video from yesterday, in which WOLA’s […]

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The day ahead: January 9, 2019

I’m traveling and will be hard to contact today. (How to contact me) I’m in a hotel room in San Diego, it’s just after 5:30AM, and I’m about to get into my rental car and drive to the main border crossing into Tijuana. I plan to do the exact same thing tomorrow morning too. The […]

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