Letters & Politics: Immigration at the Border

KPFA radio interview with Cathi Tactaquin, NNIRR’s founder and former director, and expert on immigration policy, speaks with Letters & Politics about the situation for migrants, included children, who are currently stranded at the U.S.-Mexico Border. An excerpt from the interview:

We were really disturbed by the media coverage and a lot of the distortions and I think as many have commented a lot of political manipulation of the situation at the border. So first thing is, the language that is being used ‘surge, border crisis’ are misleading and again manipulative…we’ve talked about this before, every spring for several years, I know I have on this program before, we’re seeing an uptick in the usual increase in migrants coming to the border during the springtime, they’re not going to come during winter. We’ve seen this year after year after year. All the data is showing that the numbers that we are seeing now are no different than 2019, last year was an exception because of COVID and numbers of migrants attempting to cross were down but they certainly weren’t absent. And we’re seeing the usual causes of why people feel they’re forced to come, and which have been enhanced by things like the hurricanes that took place in Central America, on top of climate factors, on top of violence, on top of persistent poverty.

So we have been here before and if there is any so-called crisis, it’s a humanitarian crisis because there are people’s families, there are people’s needs that have to be dealt with, people who are there, who are on both sides of the border at this point who need support, and there is still a political crisis in Washington, and I think what we are seeing especially with the media manipulation what we saw from Republican congress members for example who went to the border, and were reporting is really an attempt to undermine the Biden administration’s promises and practices and programs that its beginning to put in place and also to undermine the promise of some legislative reforms.

To hear the interview go here (starts at min. 35:20)

Mitch Jeserich