Dexter Filkins Reports on the Border Crisis

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Dexter Filkins has reported on conflict situations around the world, and spent months reporting on the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border. In a piece published last year, Filkins tries to untangle how conditions around the globe, an abrupt change in executive direction from Trump to Biden, and an antiquated immigration system have created a chaotic situation. “It’s difficult to appreciate the scale and the magnitude of what’s happening there unless you see it,” Filkins tells David Remnick. In 2022, during a surge at the border, local jurisdictions struggled to provide humanitarian support for thousands of migrants, leading Democratic politicians to openly criticize the Administration. While hard-liners dream of a wall across the two-thousand-mile border, “they can’t build a border wall in the middle of a river,” Filkins notes. “So if you can get across the river, and you can get your foot on American soil, that’s all you need to do.” Migrants surrendering to Border Patrol and requesting asylum then enter a years-long limbo as their claims work through an overburdened system. The last major overhaul of the immigration system took place in 1986, Filkins explains, and with Republicans and Democrats perpetually at loggerheads, there is no will to fix a system that both sides acknowledge as broken.

This segment originally aired on June 16, 2023.

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