Daily Review: Biden Imposes Strict Measures at the U.S.-Mexico Border

Daily Review: Biden Imposes Strict Measures at the U.S.-Mexico Border
U.S. President Joe Biden walks with Border Patrol agents along a stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border in El Paso, Texas, Jan. 8, 2023 (AP photo by Andrew Harnik).

U.S. President Joe Biden announced new measures yesterday that will impose broad restrictions on migrants’ access to the U.S. asylum system when illegal crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border reach a seven-day average of 2,500 per day. Border crossings are currently at that level, meaning the new restrictions kicked in overnight. (Washington Post)

Our Take

Biden’s decision to impose these restrictions is in many ways the culmination of a trend over the past decade that has seen immigration into the U.S. become an increasingly politicized and polarizing issue in domestic politics.

Specifically, the number of crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border has been portrayed as a “crisis.” But to the extent that it is one, it is only because the U.S.—a large and wealthy country—has not expanded its capacity to receive and process migrants and asylum-seekers, largely because of a lack of political will to do so. In fact, there are serious questions about the U.S. capacity to even follow through on the restrictions that Biden announced yesterday.

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