Chart of the Day: Our Crisis At the Border

I guess you’ve all seen this before, but here’s a multi-decade look at apprehensions of people illegally crossing the border into the United States from Mexico:

Why not just declare victory and go home? Whatever it is we’ve been doing over the past few years, it seems to be working: despite far more personnel and increased funding, the Border Patrol just isn’t catching very many people. That’s because far fewer people are trying to cross the border. The current rate of border crossings is about a quarter of what it was in 2000.

At this point, we already have the border itself pretty well in hand. The obvious thing to do if we want to reduce the number of undocumented immigrants even further is mandatory E-Verify, but neither Democrats nor Republicans nor Donald Trump seem to be very excited about pushing for this. This revealed preference suggests that no one is really all that unhappy about the current rate of border crossings. We should move on.

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FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

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