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Detention and Deportation Isn’t Deterring Migrants From Crossing the Border

Plus: Human rights groups say Harris' Latin America trip may focus too much on immigration, and more federal immigration news.

This summary was featured in Documented’s Early Arrival newsletter. You can subscribe to receive it in your inbox three times per week here.

There are close to 40 percent more people in immigration detention now than when President Joe Biden took office, even though his administration is turning away migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border and warning them not to come to the U.S. But research shows threatening migrants with detention and deportation doesn’t deter them from crossing the border, especially if they’re victims of violence and looking to escape from their home countries. Emily Ryo, a professor of law and sociology at the USC Gould School of Law, with the help of Vanderbilt University and Latin American Public Opinion Project, surveyed about 11,000 voting-age adults in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador coming to the U.S. It revealed that even when they knew about the U.S.’s deportation and detention policy, 21 percent of them still wanted to migrate. Vox 

In other federal immigration news…

Human Rights Groups Worried for Harris’ Latin America Trip

Vice President Kamala Harris will visit Guatemala City on Sunday and Mexico City two days later to meet with the countries’ presidents. Human rights organizations are worried the trip will put too much focus on immigration and not enough on law and government corruption in those countries. In a statement, advocacy groups said Mexico and Guatemala’s increased immigration enforcement “neither represents an effective and holistic response to migration, nor should it be a pretext to avoid conversations about corruption, insecurity, judicial independence, and attacks against civil society organizations, journalists and justice officials,” advocacy groups wrote in a statement. The Biden administration responded to the statement on Thursday by saying it was fighting corruption, but didn’t mention target areas. The Hill 

Blinken Calls on Central America to Confront Corruption

On Wednesday in Costa Rica, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Mexican Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard spoke about “a variety of issues to promote the prosperity and security” in the region, according to the U.S. State Department. They also “discussed progress toward addressing COVID-19 and economic recovery, as well as issues related to regional democracy and governance, and security,” a statement read. Some experts view Blinken’s Costa Rica visit as the start of cooperation with Mexico on immigration, as the U.S. is “more likely to get that cooperation when governments see the carrot of a broad-based economic integration program,” said Professor Richard Feinberg of the University of California, San Diego. VOA News

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