Shifting Realities at the U.S.-Mexico Border: Immigration Enforcement and Control in a Fast-Evolving Landscape

A new Migration Policy Institute (MPI) report calls for major reforms and investments to address unprecedented migration challenges at the U.S.-Mexico border.

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Drawing from visits to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facilities along the entire southwest border and extensive interviews of governmental and nongovernmental officials in the U.S., Mexico, Guatemala, and Costa Rica, the MPI report emphasizes that border control cannot be achieved at the border alone. Success will require … significant investments in capacity as well as collaboration with regional partners to address the increasingly complex migration patterns now seen throughout the Western Hemisphere. In one major focus, the report traces factors that have stretched the U.S. border management system beyond its capabilities: The current record level of encounters of asylum seekers and other migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border, sharp diversification in nationalities [arriving at the border] and the shift in arrival characteristics with families now accounting for an increasing share.