Immigration policy is in chaos. This is not by accident. This is policy. The Trump Administration implements changes to immigration policy that any decent policy advisor would tell the President will immediately be challenged in the courts – like last year’s effort at family separation, or this years’ Remain in Mexico, or the most recent “Safe Third Country” agreement with Guatemala. All have been immediately challenged as illegal. It is hard to even figure out what border policy is on any given day. Coyotes – the smugglers who get people to the border – tell desperate people that they must try to cross now or policy will become more restrictive and they will never get in. Let’s just be clear, Trump may think that policy by chaos and fear is a deterrent, but in reality, chaos is driving migration.
Chaos policy is also expensive. This expense is borne on many fronts. It is very expensive for the asylum seekers as they figure out how to exist as they await the processing of their claims without much, if any assistance. It is expensive for the shelters that exist on both sides of the border. Some shelters are entirely supported by individual donations, others are subsidized by the states. Detention is even more expensive.
Current policy is cruel, ineffective and makes no fiscal sense.