The United States immigration system wasn’t always so punitive or so cruel, observes Ruxandra Guidi in an analysis for High Country News. Drawing on her years of reporting on the U.S.-Mexico border and interviews with immigration experts, she traces the ways in which the very act of migration has become criminalized.
“U.S. authorities haven’t always viewed migration through a criminal lens. Yet the Trump administration has not only done so, it has chosen to apply deterrence theory to an extreme degree. Whether a person is an undocumented migrant, or a child seeking to reunite with her parents, or an asylum seeker with credible persecution claims makes no difference to our current administration, which considers them all ‘illegal.’”
Photo by Roberto (Bear) Guerra.