Is There Still a Border Refugee Crisis?

I noted earlier today that the president’s decision to delay a major executive action on immigration for a month or two may in part be attributable to the belief that the “crisis” over refugees at the U.S.-Mexico border, which has clearly affected public opinion on immigration, will soon be visibly abating.

Well, as Danny Vinik notes at TNR today, the latest numbers do suggest that’s happening:

The Department of Homeland Security released new figures on the number of apprehensions along the Southwest border Monday and the numbers continue to plummet, for both unaccompanied children and adults with children. “In July the numbers of unaccompanied children were about half of what they were in June,” DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson said in a statement. “August was even lower—lower than August 2013 and the lowest since February 2013.”

Vinik goes on to point out it’s hard to know why this is happening, just as it’s hard to know why exactly the border crossings surged so rapidly in the first place. But we may soon be back to what passes for normalcy in the facts on the ground, with Republicans in the awkward position of still complaining about “open borders” and demanding mass deportations.

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.