Saturday, August 11, 2018

Family Separation, Harsh Enforcement Tactics Do Not Deter Migration


Christian Jorgenson on Immigration Impact reports on the effectiveness of the Trump administration's efforts to deter migration from Central America.  When the Trump administration began prosecuting migrant families and separating thousands of children from their parents, many in the administration predicted this would significantly deter migrants looking to cross the U.S.-Mexico border. That has not been the case.

A recent study based on new data from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) shows this policy and older enforcement policies aimed at deterrence have not successfully curbed migration. Instead, seasonal migration patterns appear to dictate the flow of new arrivals at the border.

The study, published by the Center for American Progress (CAP), examined the impact of the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” policy and the Obama administration’s massive expansion of family detention in the second half of 2014. In both instances, the policies did not deter families from entering the United States.

New data from Border Patrol shows the same occurred this year. In April, May, June, and July 2018, between 9,250 and 9,650 family units crossed each month, showing no significant increase or decrease.

All of this new data makes clear: families fleeing epidemic levels of violence in Central America are not going to be deterred by needlessly harsh enforcement policies here in the United States.


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