Report: Migration at the U.S.-Mexico Border: A Challenge Decades in the Making

by Kevin Johnson

A new Migration Policy Institute report, co-authored by former U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Alan Bersin, recounts the history of the U.S. government’s efforts to strengthen southwest border enforcement in the modern era. The report, Migration at the U.S.-Mexico Border: A Challenge Decades in the Making,identifies key developments in the evolution of southwest border control and lessons learned that may inform the next phase of the federal government’s southwest border strategy.

The report argues that policymakers and political leadership must recognize how the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) mission has evolved, how vital inter-agency partnerships are to the success of border management operations and how the transnational phenomenon of irregular migration requires international partnerships that stretch beyond the border itself (most particularly the need for a durable and effective U.S.-Mexican partnership).

The authors note that Congress has not made significant reforms to U.S immigration law in decades, even though border security has been among the most politically visible and contentious issues dating to the 1990s and multiple migration crises have confronted each of the five presidencies since then. 

This post originally appeared on ImmigrationProf Blog Reprinted with permission.

About The Author

Kevin Johnson is Dean, Mabie-Apallas Professor of Public Interest Law, and Professor of Chicana/o Studies. He joined the UC Davis law faculty in 1989 and was named Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in 1998. Johnson became Dean in 2008. He has taught a wide array of classes, including immigration law, civil procedure, complex litigation, Latinos and Latinas and the law, and Critical Race Theory. In 1993, he was the recipient of the law school's Distinguished Teaching Award.

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