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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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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