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Op-ed in Foreign Affairs: The Real Root Causes of America’s Border Crisis

June 7, 2021

From the op-ed:

"From his first days in office, U.S. President Joe Biden has had to contend with a surge in migration across the U.S.-Mexican border, in particular from the “Northern Triangle” countries of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. Instead of building walls or beefing up border security, as his predecessor did, Biden has promoted an ambitious $4 billion plan to address what he has called the “root causes” of irregular migration. By tackling insecurity, corruption, and poverty in Latin America, the Biden administration is betting that it can persuade many would-be migrants who lack visas to stay home.

Biden’s plan won’t slow the traffic at the U.S. border overnight, but it may help stabilize the flow over time, preventing the kinds of extreme surges of irregular migration that occurred at the beginning of this year. For the plan to work, however, Biden and his team must understand that migration pressures from the Northern Triangle follow two starkly different patterns: long waves that last decades and short spikes that last months..."

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Director of Migration, Displacement, and Humanitarian Policy and Senior Fellow