Immigration Brief: What's Really Driving the Migrant Surge?

By Matthew Sussis and Bryan Griffith on August 6, 2019

A new video from the Center for Immigration Studies analyzes the factors behind the current surge in migrants arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border, and what steps Congress could take to end the growing crisis.

Matt Sussis, the Center's Assistant Director of Communications, said, "Many Democratic politicians cite either climate change or fears of violence when asked what is driving the border crisis, but the data indicate otherwise. The reality is that our own asylum loopholes are at the root of this surge, and it will not abate until those loopholes are closed by Congress."

Since 2011, murder rates have fallen in half in Northern Triangle countries, indicating that gang violence is likely not a driver of the crisis. Similarly, despite concerns over climate change, crop production in Central America has steadily risen in recent decades. Asylum loopholes such as the Flores Settlement Agreement appear to be much more direct drivers of current migration.

Further Reading:

Crop Data Suggests Climate Change Is Not Driving the Migration Surge

No Relationship Between Homicide Rates in Central America and Illegal Border Crossings