“The New Reality of Migrant Flows at the U.S. Southwest Border”
By Alan Bersin and Nate Bruggeman — Belfer Center Homeland Security Policy Paper Series
The United States Government made remarkable progress from the 1990s through the early 2010s (coupled with changing demographic and economic conditions in Mexico) in improving security and reducing illegal immigration at its border with Mexico. Beginning in 2014, however, the situation changed, and it has deteriorated substantially in the last year. A flood of asylum seekers from the Northern Triangle countries of Central American—Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala—have overwhelmed U.S. (and Mexican) border officials. Urgent attention is required to address a mounting crisis, requiring action across numerous policy fronts: from foreign affairs and international assistance through reform of the U.S. immigration system and asylum law to amelioration of the dismal security conditions extant in the Northern Triangle.