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.

Migration

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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Notes from yesterday in Yuma

Good morning from Tucson, Arizona, where we arrived yesterday evening after a 220-mile drive through the desert from Yuma. We spent yesterday in Yuma and across the border in San Luis Río Colorado, Sonora. We met with Mexican migration authorities (INM and Grupo Beta), with the Casa de Migrante migrant shelter in San Luis, with […]

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Good morning from Yuma

Good morning from Yuma, Arizona, where we landed at about 4:00PM yesterday. We’re about half an hour’s drive from the Mexico border right now, and about the same distance from Arizona’s border with California. With this visit, since 2011 we on WOLA’s Border and Migration Program have now worked in seven of the nine sectors […]

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The “cages”

That’s me in the white shirt, in this 2014 Border Patrol photo reproduced in a June 6 Washington Post fact-check piece. The article’s author found fault with Sen. Jeff Merkley’s (D-Oregon) portrayal of the site we’re walking through, Border Patrol’s “Ursula Street” Central Processing Center in McAllen, Texas, as “hundreds of children locked up in […]

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Migration at the border in May was below average—except for kids and families

At 5:00 today, U.S. Customs and Border protection released its latest count of migrants it apprehended at the border. The Homeland Security Department’s release about the numbers, and some of the press coverage, seems certain to trigger another freakout from President Trump: The number of apprehended illegal border crossers increased slightly from the previous month […]

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Jailing All Border Crossers and Separating Families Would Break U.S. Courts, Ports, and Prisons. (It’s Cruel, Too.)

Here’s a new border analysis at WOLA’s website. In a nutshell: The Trump administration, especially Jeff Sessions, is proposing to prosecute and imprison every single person who crosses the U.S.-Mexico border “improperly.” This would happen even if the border-crosser is someone seeking asylum. If the asylum-seeker is a parent with a child, they would take […]

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How to break the U.S. federal prison system

This is one of a few points we’ll make in an analysis WOLA will publish early next week, probably Tuesday. I want to break it down here in greater detail. It just seems so crazy. It’s easiest to look at it step by step. First, this is the current U.S. federal prison population (source): People […]

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WOLA Podcast on the Venezuelan Forced Migration Crisis

I sat down this morning with Gimena Sánchez, who works on Colombia and the Andes here at WOLA, and Geoff Ramsey, who works on Venezuela. Geoff spent all of April in Venezuela, and in the Venezuelan border areas of Colombia and Brazil. Gimena was in Colombia at the same time, and both did fieldwork in the border city […]

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The Post-Election Surge in Honduran Migrants

As even a Google search of the word “caravan” will tell you, the Trump administration is freaked out about a jump in migration from Central America since March. Children and families from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras are once again crossing the border and seeking out U.S. authorities to petition for asylum or other protected […]

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Migration was flat at the border in April

After a big jump in March, the number of migrants that Border Patrol apprehended in April did not increase. In fact, April’s arrivals were pretty typical for the last several Aprils. Although when you take away protection-seeking kids and families, the remainder is much fewer than it was five years ago. Remember this next time […]

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The Border Patrol Union’s Latest “Green Line” Podcast

Art Del Cueto is president of the Tucson Sector chapter of the National Border Patrol Council, the union whose membership includes about 75 percent of all Border Patrol agents. He was the solo host of the latest episode of the union’s weekly “Green Line” podcast, embedded here: Entitled “Not Guilty!” the episode begins with a […]

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