We need a 12-step program. That was my immediate reaction when I read this editorial at The Economist, “Why the situation on America’s southern border has become unmanageable”. The first step in AA’s recovery program is recognizing that you’ve failed and that the situation has become uncontrollable.
The number of illegal border-crossers is the highest for 21 years. The number of “encounters” in the 2021 fiscal year (which ended in September) was the highest on record. (“Encounters” and the number of border-crossers are different, since one person may attempt several crossings.) The perception that Mr Biden is less hostile to migrants than Mr Trump was one factor in the rise, but not the only one. Covid-19 has hit economies to America’s south, adding to the poverty, violence, natural disasters and autocracy which many people are eager to escape. As more migrants arrive at the border it becomes harder to manage them in a consistent way.
The situation can no longer be explained away as seasonal variance.