I want to make it crystal clear that I've been acknowledging the unprecedented levels of unaccompanied kids, and arguing that the real challenge is how we handle those numbers safely and humanely.

The problem is conflating 12,000 unaccompanied kids with 100,000 encounters.
"Chart-makers" like myself also want people to acknowledge the facts about what's happening, and to ensure that lazy reporting doesn't throw blame around and incorrectly put the burden for the increase on specific things, or falsely conflate perception with reality.
The biggest critique of the Post article isn't that it got the trends wrong, it's that it ignored when the overall trend began, ignored the complicated policy reality on the ground, and acted as if the perception of Biden doing something was the same thing as him doing it.
As Secretary Mayorkas said, March will hit encounter levels we haven't seen in years. It'll likely be around 12k unaccompanied kids, 50k families, and 80k single adults.

So once again, the single largest demographic will be the group that started spiking in April 2020!
March apprehensions will see record levels of unaccompanied children, but family apprehensions will be below 2019, and the number allowed in will be even further below 2019 because ~20% will have been expelled, along with 85-90% of single adults.

That nuance matters.
I've never critiqued the investigative work that the Post's immigration beat does, or the facts they get, because they do some great work.

The problem is when those facts get wrapped in strong editorial slant, or when beat reporters get pushed aside by the horse race writers.

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More from @ReichlinMelnick

25 Mar
In 2018, when I helped screen separated parents, I talked to a man locked in an ICE jail who literally wept as he described being unable to put a shirt on his son's back and only eating once a day. He *begged* for a chance just to live here for a few years. I'll never forget him.
There's nothing like watching a grown man on the other side of a plexiglass wall in a remote ICE jail break down and sob and plead with you as if you alone can save him, to really drive home the point of how desperate many people migrating to our borders are.
He told me that he felt like an utter failure as a father because in Guatemala he had no land, no money, no work, and no hope. So when he heard in 2018 that families were being allowed in, he sold everything he had and came to the border. And then his son was taken from him.
Read 4 tweets
22 Mar
"In conclusion, may I please remind you that it does not say R.S.V.P. on the Statue of Liberty" may still be the single-best movie line ever to emphasize this exact point.

We've tried deterrence and cruelty for 40 years. How about we try openness and humanity for a little while?
Are we worse off because we accepted hundreds of thousands of Haitian/Cuban refugees? No.

Are we worse off because we accepted hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese/Cambodian refugees? No.

Will we be worse off if we accept hundreds of thousands of Central American refugees? NO!
Thomas Jefferson famously said that "The Tree of Liberty is refreshed with the blood of patriots" but to that sanguinary metaphor, I would add "The Tree of Liberty is refresh by the blood, sweat, and tears of immigrants."

We call this country a nation of immigrants for a reason.
Read 4 tweets
20 Mar
Strongly disagree with this entire piece as a factual matter. The border has been “surging” with single adults (who made up 72% of all apprehensions last month) since Title 42 in spring 2020, and family apprehensions remain <50% of 2019. The evidence for the thesis is missing!
Last month, 100,000 people were encountered at the border and 72,000 of them were single adults, almost all of whom were expelled. Single adult apprehensions have been spiking since spring 2020 and that FACT is literally *not mentioned once* in this piece. That actively misleads.
Also, where the heck does this number come from, tossed into the public like a bomb with no sourcing, not even "anonymous officials."?

To reach 2 million, we'd need to see an average 182,111 encounters a month for the next 10 months straight. That has *literally never happened.*
Read 4 tweets
19 Mar
Here's some facts for Rep. Crenshaw.

- The ACAs were suspended in March 2020. Biden terminating did not change a thing.

- Remain in Mexico enriched the cartels by creating a jobs program for kidnappers and torturers. Easily 1 in 10 people subject to it—or more—were victimized.
Rep. Crenshaw's claim that terminating the Asylum Cooperative Agreements affected the border is unmoored from reality.

The only ACA to go into effect was suspended in March 2020 due to the pandemic—and fewer than 1,000 people had ever been subject to it.

I'd like @DanCrenshawTX to take 7 minutes and watch this video from 2019 where a woman subject to Remain in Mexico describes being kidnapped and hearing her husband being tortured, and likely killed.

What he praises was a conveyor belt for inhumanity.

Read 4 tweets
18 Mar
Having read the article, it's clear that J.D. Vance knows literally nothing about immigration, just the fevered talked points that ping around the Fox News ecosystem. This entire thing is ridiculous posturing designed to align him more towards the Trumpist anti-immigrant wing.
None of @JDVance1's claims are true. No one is being "invited" in. The Biden administration is shouting to the rooftops that people shouldn't come now.

But guess what? Desperation is a powerful motivator for people wanting a better life, just like it was for Vance's ancestors.
This entire thing is just mindless shallow talking point after mindless shallow talking point.

He seriously argues that we shouldn't pass a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants—something two thirds of Americans support—until we, what, defeat the cartels? So... never?
Read 6 tweets
17 Mar
This morning @AliMayorkas is appearing in front of the House Homeland Security Committee for the first time as Secretary.

I'll be following along here for the first hour or so! Like the last four years, expect almost everything to be about the border.

There appears to be a major sound problem with the hearing, and we can't hear a thing from Chairman Thompson as he gives his opening statement. No sound on either the Youtube livestream or the C-Span livestream. Not an auspicious start to things!
Anyway, even though we can't hear Chairman @BennieGThompson give his opening statement, here's a link to the prepared remarks. Still unclear if this is a tech issue or if he just forgot to unmute himself? homeland.house.gov/imo/media/doc/…
Read 48 tweets

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