What Would a Sustainable Solution to the Crisis at the Border Look Like?

Despite President Trump’s increasingly restrictionist policies aimed at deterring immigrants, last month more than 76,000 unauthorized migrants crossed the southern border with Mexico, an 11-year high. More than 40,000 of those migrants were families with children fleeing organized crime, gang violence and poverty in the notorious “Northern Triangle” region of Central America, which includes Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.Trump and his supporters have used the spike in undocumented migrants — the vast majority of whom are asylum seekers in search of a better, safer life — as further justification for the president’s declaration of a “national emergency,” which may allow him to bypass Congress and access an additional $3.6 billion to build his long-promised border wall and implement other border-security measures.Among those measures is the planned construction of a new processing center in El Paso that will be better equipped to tend to the medical and emotional needs of families — often with small children--who’ve traveled thousands of miles under harsh conditions at great risk to their safety and health. “While our enhanced medical efforts will assist in managing the increased flows,” U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan told reporters recently, “the fact is that these solutions are temporary and this solution is not sustainable.”What would sustainable solutions look like? In an effort to shine some much-needed light on the growing humanitarian crisis at the border, I sought out several experts on Central America and the forces driving so many families north.  Continue reading...

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