With Eric Cantor’s loss earlier this week, most believe immigration reform is dead. Yet with tens of thousands of Mexican and Central American children flooding across the U.S. southern border, a legislative overhaul is even more important. In this piece for Foreign Policy, I look at why these kids are coming and what we need to do about it. You can read the beginning of the piece below:
Among the faithful, there has been at least faint hope that after the primary season ends and before midterms begin immigration reform might occur. President Barack Obama even held off on reviewing deportation policies in May to give space for a legislative fix. But now, with Eric Cantor’s loss in his House primary to Tea Party outsider David Brat, that slim chance is pretty much nil.
The tragedy is that this setback is occurring precisely at a time when the human cost of our broken immigration system has again made the headlines, this time in the faces of thousands of undocumented children flooding across the southern border. U.S. Customs and Border Protection apprehended over 47,000 unaccompanied youths at the border over the last eight months—mostly from Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras—overwhelming U.S. border facilities and detention centers. With the UNHCR reporting that the numbers will reach 60,000 this year, this has the makings of a full-blown humanitarian crisis.
You can read the rest of the piece here on ForeignPolicy.com.