New Resources about U.S. Immigration Policy Past to Present

January 31, 2024 Emily.Stuart

The Migration Policy Institute has released a new publication: Migration at the U.S.-Mexico Border A Challenge Decades in the Making, a comprehensive overview of US-Mexico border policy from the 1980s-today. 

"The U.S. border security enterprise as it relates to addressing irregular migration at the southwest border has changed considerably over the last four decades. From roughly the 1980s through the early 2010s, the primary challenge and thus the focus of government policy was managing the flows of unauthorized Mexican migrants, the majority of whom were adults seeking job opportunities. While the government never stopped this type of migration completely, it developed an effective strategic approach backed by adequate resources to allow border officials to dramatically reduce the levels of illicit border crossing. In the mid-2010s, however, the profile of migrants arriving at the border changed with the arrival of Central American families and children, which morphed into unprecedented flows of asylum seekers from Central and South America and beyond. This shift has sparked an intense period of crisis, as the federal government has struggled to adapt policy and operational structures to match the changed nature of the migration problems to be managed."

Additionally, Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees has released the first in a series of timelines to be shared over the next year, which provides in-depth information on the evolution of American citizenship and how the United States has determined who belongs in this country and who does not. Understanding this history and the forces that drive it is critical to understanding how we decide who gets to be American today.

Categories: Immigrants & Refugees