Yesterday U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) released its statistics for March. They show that Border Patrol apprehended the largest monthly total of migrants since April 2007. But unlike back then, when nearly all migrants were single Mexican adult males, this time two thirds were children or parents. Most of them from Honduras and Guatemala, and nearly all of them asking for asylum.
The number of single adult migrants apprehended was the largest since the spring of 2014—but still way below what it was that year, or in previous years. This “traditional” migrant population—most of whom probably still want to avoid capture—is now just one in three apprehensions.
Meanwhile, at the ports of entry themselves, CBP officers posted on the borderline prevent most asylum-seekers from approaching. Children and parents continue to be “metered” at somewhere between 4,500 and 5,000 per month.
Another 60,000-plus turned themselves in by jumping over the fence or going across the Rio Grande, and asking their apprehending Border Patrol agents for asylum.
Good morning from Tijuana. I’ve got meetings with two migrant shelters and the U.S. consulate on the schedule today. This evening, I’ve signed up for “airport duty” with the migrant shelter on the U.S. side. I’ll be hard to contact throughout the day.
I’ll be spending day 2 in San Diego in an all-day meeting with a great assemblage of border and migration activists. It promises to be a forward-looking, proposal-focused discussion. I won’t be near a keyboard much, though I’ll be looking to see whether CBP, despite its leadership shakeup, posts its March migration numbers.
Hello from San Diego. I have two meetings with U.S. border-security agencies today, and I’ll be working a long shift at the local shelter for migrant families who’ve been released from custody. There’s a time in late afternoon (early evening East Coast) when I may be easy to contact, but that’s about it.
10:30–12:00 at the Migration Policy Institute: International vs. National Protection for Refugees: Diverging Trends? (RSVP required).
4:30–6:00 at AU Washington College of Law: UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet: “Challenges to the Protection of Human Rights in the 21st Century and the Role of the United Nations” (RSVP required).
Thursday, April 11
8:30–9:30 at AEI: What is next for US-Venezuela policy? A conversation with Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) (RSVP required).
8:30–10:30 at the Inter-American Dialogue: Chile’s Private Pension Experience and the Outlook for New Reforms (RSVP required).
8:30–2:00 at CSIS: 2019 Global Development Forum (RSVP required).
10:00–10:50 at the Brookings Institution: The latest on Brazil’s economic reforms: A conversation with Economy Minister Paulo Guedes (RSVP required).
10:00–12:00 at the U.S. Institute of Peace: Youth: The Missing Peace (RSVP required).
Friday, April 12
9:00–10:30 at the Inter-American Dialogue: A Conversation with Alberto Carrasquilla, Colombia’s Minister of Finance and Public Credit (RSVP required).
12:00–2:00 at the Inter-American Dialogue: Latin America’s Digital Economy and Trends in International Taxation (RSVP required).
Ana Arjona on the findings of her award-winning 2016 study
Here’s an interview with Ana Arjona, director of the Center for the Study of Security and Drugs (CESED) at Universidad de Los Andes in Bogotá, and an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at Northwestern University.
Professor Arjona is the author of the 2016 book Rebelocracy: Social Order in the Colombian Civil War. Based on extensive field work and data analysis in Colombia, Rebelocracy offers an intricate theory of how armed conflicts and civil wars function, viewed at the local level. Arjona finds that most of the time, the situation is not anarchy and chaos: there can be some sort of order in the midst of civil war. Further, she finds that this order usually takes one of two forms, and what form it takes is often up to the civilian population themselves.
It’s my last day in the office until April 15, as I’m headed back to the U.S.-Mexico border this weekend. This morning I’m giving a talk about Colombia at the annual meeting of the American Association of Geographers. I’m in the office the rest of the day, tying up loose ends and doing some writing.
There is a real crisis at the border due to a dramatic increase in the number of families from Central America seeking asylum. Almost two-thirds of migrants now coming to the U.S.-Mexico border are children or families, compared to only 10 percent in 2012.
This is a genuine a humanitarian crisis, not a security threat. The Trump administration’s policies—including threats to shut down the border, build a wall, cut aid to Central America, and increase deportations—have made the situation worse.
The crisis is taking a toll on migrant families, humanitarian aid workers, overworked Border Patrol agents, and overwhelmed judges.
This presents new challenges for border and immigration policy, but it is something that the U.S. government should be capable of administering in a safe, orderly, and humane way. In a new analysis, WOLA provides background on who is coming, why they are coming, and what could be done to address the problem. Here is a brief overview of the key points.
Who is coming?
Families and children from Honduras and Guatemala, and a much smaller number from El Salvador, seeking asylum.
This represents a shift—not just an increase in numbers, but a new population of migrants.
This new pattern is likely to be an ongoing trend unless underlying factors are addressed.
Why is it happening? A combination of these:
Violence and insecurity in Central America at some of the world’s highest levels.
Poverty and lack of economic opportunity, including collapsed rural economies, with risk of famine in some areas.
Corruption, which benefits organized criminal groups, smuggling networks, and public entities engaged in illicit activities.
Separated family members seeking to reunite.
The asylum backlog itself, during which many asylum-seekers wait years for their hearings.
What can we do to address the long term trends?
Contribute to efforts to make Central America a place that people don’t need to flee.
Recognize Mexico’s efforts to support Central American migrants and expand access to asylum.
Massively revamp our beleaguered land ports of entry.
Get serious about alternatives to detention, especially family case management.
Eliminate the backlogs with more courts, judges and staff in a reformed immigration court system that respects due process.
What can we do in the short term?
Relieve Border Patrol agents and let case workers and others process forms and handle the needs of children and families.
Expand short-term facilities to process migrants and asylum-seekers in a timely and humane manner.
End backlogs and waitlists for asylum-seekers at the ports of entry.
Immediately cancel the “Remain in Mexico” program, which is contributing to risks and chaos at the border.
Hire people who speak indigenous languages to assist in processing migrants.
McAleenan announced that CBP officers currently at the ports of entry would be reassigned to help with processing migrant families. The decision has led to longer wait times and concerns about security
Some 450 Brazilian and foreign companies, ranging from makers of machine guns and rocket propelled grenade launchers to “target detection” technology and surveillance drones, are on display at the four-day LAAD defense and security expo
El movimiento social que hoy cumple 24 días, ya cuenta con alrededor de 25.000 personas provenientes de varios departamentos como Cauca, Antioquia, Chocó, Tolima, Nariño, Huila, Valle, Amazonía, entre otros
Según Juan Francisco Sandoval, fiscal contra la impunidad que contribuyó a llevar a prisión a tres expresidentes acusados de corrupción, el gobierno de Jimmy Morales ha sido el peor para combatir estos abusos
The Department of Homeland Security on Monday reallocated up to 750 officers, citing a “growing security and humanitarian crisis at the border,” and said that the reassignments might rise to more than 2,000 personnel
Trump says Mexico began to detain thousands of Central American migrants at its southern border only this week. Let’s not beat around the bush here — that’s totally false. They’ve been doing it for decades
First thing this morning I’ll be Skyping and recording a podcast with an expert on Colombia’s conflict. During the first half of the afternoon I’ll be on a call with border groups and then have a meeting with a migration-focused philanthropy here in town.
When not in meetings, we’ll be launching a memo—it’s become a full-blown report, really—on the current child and family migrant crisis at the border and what to do about it. I’ll also be putting final touches on a presentation I’m giving at the American Association of Geographers’ Annual Meeting tomorrow, nailing down the last couple of meetings for my border trip next week, and writing another 1,000 words on an overdue article about U.S.-military ties for a Latin American publication.
Also, my spidey-sense tells me that CBP could release its March numbers showing a huge increase in migrant apprehensions at the border (they did February on March 5), so responding to and contextualizing that could derail things.
No dia em que visitaram em Israel o Museu do Holocausto, o presidente Jair Bolsonaro e seu chanceler, Ernesto Araújo, insistiram em declarar em entrevistas nesta terça-feira que o nazismo foi um movimento de esquerda
The President’s move, which will affect everything from development aid and humanitarian assistance to joint law-enforcement operations and anti-gang initiatives, will only make the crisis at the border worse
He was responding to a March 28 letter from the upper house of Russia’s parliament that said the “illegitimate use of military force against Venezuela by other states that support the opposition will be interpreted … as an act of aggression against a sovereign state”
Mexico actually works closely with the U.S. government on irregular migration. Mexico deports thousands of immigrants each month, most from Central America. That’s continued under a new leftist president
I’ve got a morning meeting with a congressional office and lunch with a longtime colleague who’s an expert on migration. Today we should be putting out a good jointly written piece about the crisis at the border. I’ll also be finishing prep for my visit to the border next week, and for a talk about Colombia that I’m giving Friday morning at the American Association of Geographers annual meeting. I’ll mostly be doing that between lunch and end of day.