As the immigration debate heats up in the public discourse and Congress, this Explainer assesses how immigration dynamics in the U.S. have evolved under Presidents Biden, Trump, and prior administrations, and—more importantly—what to expect in 2024 and beyond.
The motivations for migration vary widely from Honduras to Nicaragua to Venezuela, as does the United States’ relationship with each country and that country’s relationship with Mexico.
Immigrants are not coming to the U.S. because they are attracted by President Joe Biden’s inclusive language, and they were not repelled by former President Donald Trump’s use of racist imagery. Such a narrow focus may provide clickbait for media outlets but facilitates no concrete policy progress. Real understanding and positive change in the migration debate can only come by keeping structural factors at the forefront of any discussion.
Here are three reasons why President Trump’s stated plan to reduce development assistance to countries that fail to reduce illegal immigration is not only nonsensical, but also dangerous.
President Trump’s decision to send the National Guard to the U.S.-Mexico border is uninformed and wasteful
Though not without precedent, the decision to send troops to the border comes as attempted crossings reach an historic low. The decision is pure politics, if not ugly, populist racism.