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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Central America

This isn’t an aid package

Today the U.S. and Mexican governments announced what looks like a bombshell: a monster $10.6 billion package of new U.S. aid to address the root causes of migration. $5.8 billion of it for Central America, $4.8 billion for Mexico. “US pledges $10.6B aid for Central America, southern Mexico,” an AP headline gushes. Not so fast. […]

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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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Good discussion today about the origins of Central America’s violence

We covered a lot of ground in an hour and a half. To the extent that we left the audience with a conclusion: Central America has taken some initial steps to get at the causes of violence. These steps are fragile and risk reversal. This fight is going to be long and complicated, probably requiring […]

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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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Snapshots from the border

I’m just back from a quick 3-day trip to the very farthest southern part of Texas, known as the Rio Grande Valley region. This is by far the “busiest” of all sectors of the U.S.-Mexico border. It has the most undocumented migration, the largest number of Central American migrants seeking protection from violence, and (according […]

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The first increase in cross-border migration under Trump

In mid-April, amid evidence that Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric was driving new migration to lows not seen in decades, I wrote the following prediction: WOLA predicts that, within a few months, migration numbers will increase from their present levels, despite the Trump administration’s tough rhetoric. These numbers are unlikely to return to the unusually high […]

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A “Trump Effect?”: New WOLA Podcast on migration and the border

I recorded a new WOLA Podcast this morning with colleagues Maureen Meyer and Hannah Smith from WOLA’s Mexico and Migration programs: U.S. statistics showed a sharp drop in migration from Mexico, and especially from Central America, in February. WOLA’s Adam Isacson, Maureen Meyer, and Hannah Smith talk about what is happening and what now awaits […]

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February migration: a blip, or a “new normal?”

The U.S. Border Patrol reported apprehending 18,762 migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border in February. This is the lowest number of migrants encountered in any month since 2000, the first year for which Border Patrol makes monthly records available [PDF]. The sharpest drops were in the number of unaccompanied children (1,922, down from over 7,000 in November and December) […]

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