Finding Solutions to Asylum Crisis: Fix the System and Partner with Mexico and Central American Countries to Spur Economic Opportunities

 Photo thanks to Sgt. Mark Otte/National Guard

Photo thanks to Sgt. Mark Otte/National Guard

By Doris Meissner in Migration Policy Institute online article

Resting his closing argument in the mid-term elections on stopping caravan migrants from “rushing” the U.S.-Mexico border, President Trump ordered the deployment of more than 7,000 active-duty military to the border—more than triple the number of troops in Syria. And the administration is reportedly finalizing a presidential proclamation that would bar Central Americans from applying for asylum at all.

These responses, like other hardline immigration measures put forth by the Trump administration, seek a shock-and-awe solution to a problem that will not be solved by bombast. Today’s arrivals from Central America do not represent a national security threat or crisis; they are fleeing deep poverty, violence, and insecurity. To be sure, the rising number of families and unaccompanied children arriving in recent years is a serious concern, and the banding together of large caravans is a worrying development that the United States—in concert with its neighbors—must address. Continue reading