Next year is going to be more crucial than ever for rapid response and communications on border and migration issues. With that in mind, I’m trying out this daily links format: one-sentence explanations of key developments and analyses.
If the workflow of making these each weekday doesn’t stick, these updates will disappear and I’ll never speak of them again. In the meantime, though, I’ll also post these to our Border Oversight resource under “News.”
Congress is considering a package of supplemental 2024 spending, including Ukraine aid and $13 billion in new initiatives at the border. Republicans are demanding some hard-line border measures as a condition of passage. Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colorado), one of a small group of senators negotiating a possible deal, appears open to the idea of tightening initial screening standards that asylum seekers must satisfy upon arrival at the border.
- Lindsay Wise, Michelle Hackman, “Senators’ Top Target in Border Talks: Tighter Asylum Rules for Migrants” (The Wall Street Journal, November 26, 2023).
- Lisa Mascaro, “The Debate Over Ukraine Aid Was Already Complicated. Then It Became Tangled Up in Us Border Security” (Associated Press, Associated Press, November 25, 2023).
- “Camilo Montoya-Galvez @Camiloreports on Twitter” (Twitter, November 26, 2023).
Volunteers are still doing most of the caring for more than 200 asylum seekers camped near a gap in the border wall in Jacumba Springs, in an “Open-Air Detention Center” along the central California border, as they await Border Patrol processing.
Factions of the Sinaloa Cartel are fighting over control of contraband and migration routes near Sásabe, Sonora, along the border with Arizona; residents who want to flee are trapped between criminals who control roads to the south and the border wall, and CBP officers denying access to U.S. ports of entry, to the north.
Things are so busy in Border Patrol’s Tucson, Arizona Sector—the part of the U.S.-Mexico border currently with the most migrants, about 15,000 per week—that the agency’s sector headquarters is minimizing its social media presence.
“The United States announced the implementation of Safe Mobility Offices (SMOs) in Ecuador to process applications for regular entry to the country for people from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Colombia, who have been in Ecuador on or before 18 October,” reports a new UNHCR Ecuador Operational Update. “The SMOs operated in two phases, with the second one starting on 20 November for people from eligible countries to apply directly at www.movilidadsegura.org.”
Analyses and Feature Stories
Even as CBP tones down the extremity of its dangerous high-speed vehicle pursuits, Texas police participating in “Operation Lone Star” have stepped them up.
“Chinese citizens are more successful than people from other countries with their asylum claims in immigration court. And those who are not end up staying anyway because China usually will not take them back,” reported the New York Times.
David Bier and Ilya Somin of the Cato Institute, writing in USA Today, criticize the Biden administration’s “arbitrary” caps and “truly bizarre” obstacles to humanitarian parole and CBP One asylum appointments.
85 percent of Mexican manufacturing businesses surveyed said they are having trouble finding workers, and more migrants from elsewhere in the Americas are settling in Mexico and taking those jobs, Reuters reported.
Amid a thawing of relations with Venezuela, Colombia has become less welcoming to Venezuelan migrants, La Silla Vacía reported, which could lead some to opt to cross the Darién Gap and migrate to the United States.
From the right: