New paper offers blueprint to solve the neverending U.S. border and immigration crisis

By Matthew Casey
Published: Thursday, May 4, 2023 - 7:45am

Migrants wait outside KBI
Kendal Blust/KJZZ
Migrants wait outside Kino Border Initiative's shelter and soup kitchen in Nogales, Sonora, on Monday, April 12, 2021.

Immigration enforcement hawks say the U.S. border must be sealed before there’s any talk about the millions of undocumented people already here.

Immigration reform advocates say the U.S. has abandoned decades-old promises made to protect people fleeing persecution. Solutions to these issues are not either — or says a new blueprint from the American Immigration Council.

“At the heart of this paper is the belief that the essential goals of meaningful humanitarian protection and effective border security can both be achieved,” said Angela Kelley, chief advisor for policy and partnerships.

Among 13 recommendations meant for Congress and the White House is following through on efforts to end pandemic-era border restrictions known as Title 42.

The Homeland Security Secretary will be at the southwest border on Thursday and Friday to see preparations underway to end the migrant-expulsion policy in place since 2020

If Title 42 goes away, one expert predicts a rush of asylum seekers leading to another border crisis narrative which causes big spending on short-term solutions that don’t endure.

Dara Lind, senior fellow with the American Immigration Council, said it’s time to take a broader approach.

“What if we make sure that things we’re investing in right now will actually be usable next year, five years from now, 10 years from now, we would not be in this situation. And that's the perspective that this report is written from," Lind said.

Blueprint authors also recommend starting to clear an immigration court backlog of asylum cases that Syracuse University researchers have estimated to be at nearly 1.6 million.

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