The Loopholes That Drive the Border Crisis

Parsing Immigration Policy, Episode 4

By Mark Krikorian and Andrew R. Arthur on May 20, 2021

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Listen to "The Loopholes That Drive the Border Crisis" on Spreaker.


Over the last decade, the flow of migrants coming to the U.S.- Mexican border has done more than just grow, it has shifted from predominantly single males to include a large percentage of families and unaccompanied minors. Andrew Arthur, the Center’s resident fellow in law and policy and a former immigration judge, explains how these phenomena result from specific loopholes in U.S. immigration law and how Congress can address these “pull factors.”

Mark Krikorian, the Center’s executive director and host of the podcast, concludes episode four of Parsing Immigration Policy by highlighting that migrants encountered at the border no longer come from just Mexico and the Northern Triangle of Central America – recent migrants represent 160 countries, reflecting a major change from past migrant flows. He discusses how this change shows that push factors are not the main driver of the border crisis.

Related Reports

Why are Central American Migrants Entering Illegally? - Part 1

Why are Central American Migrants Entering Illegally? - Part 2

The Border Crisis Started in DC - and the Ninth Circuit

Catch and Release Escape Hatches

They Heard It through the Grapevine: Illegals Are Coming from All Over


Mark Krikorian is the Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies.


Andrew Arthur is the Resident Fellow in Law and Policy at the Center for Immigration Studies. Prior to his position at the Center, Arthur served as an Immigration Judge at the York Immigration Court in York, Pennsylvania.



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Intro Montage

Voices in the opening montage:

  • Sen. Barack Obama at a 2005 press conference.
  • Sen. John McCain in a 2010 election ad.
  • President Lyndon Johnson, upon signing the 1965 Immigration Act.
  • Booker T. Washington, reading in 1908 from his 1895 Atlanta Exposition speech.
  • Laraine Newman as a "Conehead" on SNL in 1977.
  • Hillary Clinton in a 2003 radio interview.
  • Cesar Chavez in a 1974 interview.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaking to reporters in 2019.
  • Prof. George Borjas in a 2016 C-SPAN appearance.
  • Sen. Jeff Sessions in 2008 comments on the Senate floor.
  • Charlton Heston in "Planet of the Apes".