In the context of the February 2017 southwest border migration data released yesterday by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), which revealed a 40 percent decline in total migrant apprehensions at the U.S.-Mexico border, please find below a statement by WOLA’s Senior Associate for Migrant Rights, Maureen Meyer:
“It is too early for the Trump administration to claim that the drop in apprehensions of migrants at the border is a result of their policies.
It’s important to remember that people have a legal right to seek asylum in the United States. Central American families and children continue to experience violence, extortion, and persecution in their home countries. These families leave to protect their lives and the lives of their children. Efforts to ‘deter’ these migrants are equivalent to shutting the door on someone who is fleeing for their life.
The number of migrants apprehended at the U.S. border has substantially decreased over the last decade, and it’s currently at low levels similar to the 1970s. Given that overall migration numbers are way down, we are at the point of diminishing returns in terms of additional Border Patrol agents. The administration’s proposal to hire more agents and justification for building a wall would be further called into question if the apprehension numbers continue to decline.”
For further information, see WOLA’s “Beyond the Wall: Migration, Rights, and Border Security” series, which addresses the impact of Trump administration policies with fact-based analysis, alternatives, and advocacy strategies.
Ms. Meyer can be reached for additional commentary by contacting [email protected].
Director of Communications, WOLA
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