5. North America: Remaining in Mexico
While President Trump’s attention at present has been on keeping Europeans from landing at U.S. airports rather than migrants from crossing the southern border, the Supreme Court last week ruled that one of his signature immigration policies — “Remain in Mexico” — could continue.
The big picture: The policy has kept tens of thousands of asylum-seekers on Mexican soil to wait out their immigration court hearings. The program has been credited with helping lower the border crossing numbers from crisis levels, Axios’ Stef Kight writes.
On the ground: David Miliband, CEO of the International Rescue Committee, visited the border last week and told Axios that while border crossings are down, the human suffering that drives them continues, and the backlog of people waiting for asylum hearings is growing.
- “We’ve got a bigger backlog, we’ve got more people in limbo, and we’ve got people smugglers being able to charge more because people are increasingly desperate and the legal routes are being blocked.”
Miliband, who also met with top Mexican officials, said, "There's a very heavy dose of realism in Mexico about its relative power" — thus the willingness to comply with Trump's policy.
- The current situation appears “manageable” for both governments, he said.
What to watch: Now is the time to deal with the backlog and implement policies that will prevent future crises, Miliband said.
- But countries don’t typically address broad immigration or asylum reform without political incentive. And only crises seem to create that incentive, Stef writes.