There’s no surge in immigrant children across the border

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tags: illegal immigration



With Maksim Wynn, Analyst at the UCLA North American Integration and Development Center

This post is the executive summary of a longer report released by the UCLA North American Integration and Development Center. Download the full report for more in-depth and econometric analyses.

The increasing number of migrant children being apprehended at the US border has finally focused media and political attention on the humanitarian plight of Central American migrant families. President Obama cited the public's reaction to this "immigration crisis" as the reason that he has delayed taking executive action on immigration reform. The problem appears to be that many in Washington and in the media are advancing a narrative that is a shortsighted distortion of the facts, is bereft of historical context, and could lead to counter-productive policy responses. This storyline centers on the claim that there is a "surging crisis of unaccompanied minors and that it is a phenomenon driven by violent crime and drug trafficking." This narrative is incorrect on all counts, but it does provide an opportunity to highlight five important lessons that should guide immigration policy going forward.

1) There is no "surging crisis."

The total number of children currently being apprehended is roughly half of what it was before the Great Recession...




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