It goes without saying that perception is not policy, which is why criticism of Biden's approach at the border from the right that's focused on specific policy changes—e.g. ending Remain in Mexico/MPP—is so often unsupported by evidence. And of course, Fox News drives perception!
It should also go without saying that an entire right-wing media apparatus shouting for months that Joe Biden has opened the borders is going to cause more people to come to the United States than Joe Biden himself saying "We'll make things better later but don't come right now."
That said, this from an unnamed Obama official is just ridiculous and shows why they failed so badly at the border. It's yet another round of the same "We can't fix our humanitarian protection system because people might use it" crap that is indistinguishable from Trump.
Our system of humanitarian system remains broken because people like the unnamed "senior immigration official" during the Obama administration focused only on reducing numbers of people coming to the border, and not on actually taking the time to build a robust protection system.
The only way to stop a recurring cycle of "border chaos" is if we actually come up with a system that can respond flexibly, efficiently, and fairly to extraordinary migration events. More asylum seekers isn't a bad thing. More without any system in place to handle them is.

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More from @ReichlinMelnick

22 Apr
You've got that right. Ken Paxton wants to force the Biden administration to take 10-year-olds, stick them on a plane alone, and deport them without any chance to seek protection as required by law.

It is a truly monstrous request.
Stephen Miller and Gene Hamilton are two of the architects of family separation.

Now they've joined forces with Ken Paxton in an attempt to carry out another wave of cruelty against the most vulnerable people out there; unaccompanied migrant children.
Today's lawsuit shows once again that there is no level of cruelty against immigrant children too high for Stephen Miller and his ilk to celebrate.

They happily use children as pawns in their war against migrants, seeking to inflict as much cruelty as possible as deterrence.
Read 4 tweets
22 Apr
Mike Pence's claim that Biden "inherited the most secure southern border in American history" is some special kind of historical revisionism.

This piece is *riddled* with factual errors, and of course, leaves holes in his logic so gaping you could drive a truck through them.
Pence says that border apprehensions began growing "seemingly overnight."

In reality, by September 2020 apprehensions had risen to the point that we had already hit the highest level since September 2006.

Pence wants to pretend none of that happened and it all began in January.
Mike Pence: "seemingly overnight, illegal immigration surged to levels unseen since 2006."

Reality: a steady increase in apprehensions of single adults which began right after Title 42 went into place in spring 2020 and has been rising every single month since then.
Read 5 tweets
22 Apr
Biden has made only one major border policy change since January—ending MPP.

That decision had virtually no effect on apprehensions, since Title 42 had already effectively replaced MPP in 2020. Just 1.19% of people encountered since Title 42 went into place were put into MPP.
People like @kausmickey like to say "Biden created this crisis through his policies" but when you ask them to point to any specific policy changes and make a case for why that change made more people come, they end up just falling back on the idea that it's just about rhetoric.
Other policy changes that Biden made also did not change the 2020 status quo. For example, PACR, HARP, and the asylum cooperative agreements had already been suspended since March 2020 due to COVID, and Title 42 was already suspended for unaccompanied kids when Biden took office.
Read 5 tweets
21 Apr
Ooh, charts! Okay, well, here's the Tucson Sector's apprehensions since 2016. Note how unlike in Yuma, the spike in apprehensions started in spring last year when Title 42 went into place. Somehow I doubt Governor Ducey is going to mention that?
Now, that last chart may look like a pretty big change over the last few years. But let's look at it in a bit more of a historical context.

Here's Tucson Sector Border Patrol Apprehensions, October 1999 to March 2021.

Puts things in context, eh?
Now, what about Yuma Sector? Well, things are a bit different there. Yuma's been really quiet much longer than Tucson Sector, but in the Trump administration it became a place for people to go to seek asylum. We're seeing that again today.
Read 4 tweets
18 Apr
The right wing often suggests that "fraudulent family units" imply child trafficking. But this CBP press release shows what it normally is.

1) An aunt and her niece.
2) A family friend in whose care a mother placed her child.

Once discovered, the adults and kids were separated.
The first example is a perfect case for how an inflexible approach produces bad outcomes. The aunt and her niece were incentivized to lie about being mother and daughter to avoid separation—which didn't work. And now the niece will go to an ORR shelter at taxpayer expense.
The solution to these kinds of separations, between grandparents and grandchildren or aunts and nieces, is to embed ORR caseworkers within the Border Patrol and have the aunt processed as a sponsor right on the spot so they can be released together.
Read 4 tweets
17 Apr
The DNA tests were a 2019 “innovation” only used on people CBP already suspected of lying about parentage, and produced a low rate of confirmed suspicions (below 20%). And in very few cases was there no relationship; often it was an uncle saying he was a dad, that kind of thing.
The people using the term “fake families often want you to think that it’s some kind of child trafficking thing. But it’s almost never that.

Instead, it’s usually a situation like how my great-grandmother got through Ellis Island as a baby; her aunt pretended she was the mom.
Many/most USians have some ancestral story about how their family got one over the immigration inspectors way back when. Heck, even the Trumps got here that way.

That’s why I just can’t muster much outrage over people doing it now. Is it wrong? Yes. Is it a “big deal”? Eh.
Read 4 tweets

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