July 15, 2019 Feature

The Border: How We Got Here

Ava Benach

Over the last several years, several hashtag-worthy slogans have emerged from the border. Catch and release, family detention, family separation, zero tolerance, asylum ban, and Remain in Mexico are part of a sea of catchphrases that have emerged to address the current situation at the border: the unprecedented number of families with children turning themselves in to border agents, either at the port of entry or inside the US after crossing the unguarded border unlawfully. These family units have presented a new and unique challenge to the administration, which came into power promising a get-tough policy on immigration. As the challenge presented by families fleeing predominantly the three countries of Central America’s “Northern Triangle”—Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador—surges and recedes, the administration has tried a series of actions to fulfill its campaign promise to be tough on immigration. Meanwhile, immigrants have found new ways to seek to enter the United States, and immigrant advocates have pushed back forcefully in the federal courts.

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