Chart of the Day: Our Crisis At the Border

I guess you’ve all seen this before, but here’s a multi-decade look at apprehensions of people illegally crossing the border into the United States from Mexico:

Why not just declare victory and go home? Whatever it is we’ve been doing over the past few years, it seems to be working: despite far more personnel and increased funding, the Border Patrol just isn’t catching very many people. That’s because far fewer people are trying to cross the border. The current rate of border crossings is about a quarter of what it was in 2000.

At this point, we already have the border itself pretty well in hand. The obvious thing to do if we want to reduce the number of undocumented immigrants even further is mandatory E-Verify, but neither Democrats nor Republicans nor Donald Trump seem to be very excited about pushing for this. This revealed preference suggests that no one is really all that unhappy about the current rate of border crossings. We should move on.


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend