El Paso Times: Migration playbook is changing; time our rules do too

Learn more about Ioanna Papas.
Ioanna Papas
Director, Communications
George W. Bush Institute

In an op-ed for the El Paso Times, Laura Collins, Director of the Bush Institute-SMU Economic Growth Initiative, explains how our border policy needs to be updated to meet the realities of today.

In February 2021, the Bush Institute released policy recommendations outlining what a smart, nimble border policy for the 21st century would look like. These recommendations still very much hold true in 2022. Laura Collins, Director of the Bush Institute-SMU Economic Growth Initiative, writes for the El Paso Times:


“Border Patrol encounters in the El Paso sector rose 71% in the three months through December in what’s typically a period of low activity. Crossings show no sign of slowing down, continuing last year’s trend. 


As long as the U.S. economy remains robust and other countries suffer from an uneven recovery, climate-driven crises, and political instability, the United States must expect migrants at the border will be constant, not an anomaly. But, despite the change in migration patterns, the federal government is relying on the same old tired and ineffective policies. It’s time for a broad rethinking of what effective border policy is.


Effective border policy channels asylum seekers to ports of entry and wields deterrence in a limited but effective way. Rather than seeking to do the impossible – prevent all irregular migration – it anticipates and manages migrant populations, treats those seeking refuge with dignity, and appropriately enforces our laws against those who exploit the vulnerable.”


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