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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Border Security

The End of One-Party Rule is the End of Trump’s Border Wall

Even before the Democratic Party won majority control of the House of Representatives, it wasn’t clear how Donald Trump was going to be able to get his border wall through Congress, which must approve the funding for it. Senate rules make it possible to block big budget outlays—like $25 billion for a wall—if 60 senators […]

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9 Questions (and Answers) About the Central American Migrant Caravan

A new resource at WOLA’s website provides quick, fact-filled, documented and cited answers to these questions: Why are people leaving? And why are they leaving now? (Short answer: violence, corruption, climate, domestic violence, and economics.) Can Trump cut aid to Central America? (Short answer: no.) Why are people traveling as a caravan? (Short answer: safety in numbers.) […]

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Last Month’s U.S. Government Reports Relevant to Latin America

Vice Admiral Craig S. Faller, Advance Questions for Vice Admiral Craig S. Faller, USN Nominee for Commander, United States Southern Command (Washington: Senate Armed Services Committee, September 25, 2018). Written answers to questions submitted by the Senate Armed Services Committee to the nominee to head Southern Command. CBP Has Not Ensured Safeguards for Data Collected […]

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August Border Statistics Show that Trump’s Policies are Not Deterring Migration

A new graphics-heavy analysis of the latest U.S.-Mexico border migration numbers, using some of the charts I threw together yesterday, is at WOLA’s website: These figures show that the Trump Administration’s cruelties of family separation and detention are doing nothing to change the underlying problem. People fleeing violence in Central America are not deterred from […]

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Charts: migration at the U.S.-Mexico border in August

This afternoon, U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported on its apprehensions of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border in August. While it was a slightly higher August than usual, it saw a jump in arrivals of children and families seeking asylum. The Trump Homeland Security Department lamented the increase in asylum-seekers, and blamed the rise on […]

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New Report: “A National Shame”

This is part three of a three-part WOLA series on the horror that the Trump administration and its “zero tolerance” policy unleashed at the U.S.-Mexico border this spring and summer—and what may come next. (Here is part one, on “zero tolerance” itself, and part two, on what happened at ports of entry.) All three are […]

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Last month’s U.S. government reports relevant to Latin America

Mexico – Evolved Seasparrow Missiles (Washington: Defense Security Cooperation Agency, August 9, 2018). The President must notify Congress of any pending Foreign Military Sale of defense articles or services exceeding $50 million, of design and construction services exceeding $200 million, or any major defense equipment exceeding $14 million. Southwest Border Migration FY2018 (Washington: U.S. Customs […]

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Migration at the border in July: the usual summer decline

Customs and Border Protection has released the number of migrants it apprehended in July. It looked like most of the past seven Julys—usually a month when, due to scorching temperatures along the U.S.-Mexico border, migration declines. The nearly seven years of data represented in this chart—the only span for which we have monthly information this […]

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New report on the border

We’re proud to release “The Zero Tolerance Policy,” the first installment in what will be (probably) 3 reports on the current situation at the U.S.-Mexico border. This one covers the incredible institutional train wreck that Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions caused when they decided in April that every person caught crossing the border improperly should be […]

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Southwest Border Data Shows ‘Zero Tolerance’ Didn’t Deter Migrants After All

Yesterday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection released its June data about migrants apprehended at the border with Mexico. The reduction was laughably small for a month when Jeff Sessions’s cruel “zero tolerance” policy was in full swing. This post at WOLA’s website builds on Monday’s post here, which was based on a leak of preliminary […]

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“Zero Tolerance” Didn’t Deter Many Migrants

Much of the country, and the world, have been shocked by the cruelty of the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance, arrest-everyone-and-separate-parents-and-children policy. In the face of criticism, administration officials have contended that the policy promised to “deter” potential future migrants from attempting the journey. That assertion would meet its big test in the number of migrants whom Border […]

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“Facebook live” coming up in <45 minutes

(Update 5:00PM: That was fun. I think we hit all our points concisely and it turned out really well.) From WOLA’s website: Update from the border: Facebook live 2:00 PM EDT WEDNESDAY, 27 JUNE 2018 WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/WOLA.ORG/ WOLA’s Director for Mexico and Migrant Rights Maureen Meyer and Director for Defense Oversight Adam Isacson just returned from a research trip to […]

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WOLA Podcast: What We Saw at the Border

Here’s a new podcast with Maureen Meyer and Adeline Hite, whom I accompanied last week at the Arizona-Mexico border. We cover a lot of ground in this 25-minute conversation about the things that most stood out to us on last week’s trip, which I documented in a few posts from the road: what “zero tolerance” […]

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More findings from the Arizona-Mexico border

Hello from a plane returning from Tucson, where we spent all day yesterday and all morning today. It’s been busy: We went to Nogales, on the border, and spent time with the Kino Border Initiative (KBI), a Jesuit-run service and advocacy group that runs a shelter and dining facility on the Mexican side of the […]

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