Our asylum system isn’t working, but Trump is wrong on the economics of immigration.
What ever became of those caravans? Not long ago, the media was saturated with reports of Central American migrants headed for the U.S. border with Mexico. Did they disband or did the press lose interest?
One thing we know for certain is that the problem hasn’t gone away. The Department of Homeland Security reports that more than 530,000 people were apprehended at the southern border in the first half of 2019, which is the highest six-month total of any year since 2008. Central Americans may not be coming in large caravans anymore, but they’re still coming.
We also know that the situation fueling emigration from countries like Guatemala and El Salvador has gotten much better of late. The Wall Street Journal reported recently that in Guatemala, now the largest source of illegal immigration to the U.S., the economy has averaged 3.4% growth for the past five years and the homicide rate is half what it was in 2009. El Salvador’s police commissioner told reporters earlier this year that his country’s homicide rate fell by more than half between 2015 and 2018. It’s now lower than Baltimore’s.
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