August 8, 2018
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Organizations mentioned/involved: American University Washington College of Law
Surrounding the president’s campaign against immigrants, policymakers will recognize a familiar theory to explain migration: “push” and “pull” factors. Push factors are circumstances in the country of origin that force migrants away, while pull factors are those that attract them to a destination country. The push factors driving the current surge of refugees from Central America include gang and societal violence, poverty, and a culture of impunity.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently suggested, with little evidence, that the U.S. asylum system is also a pull factor because it is ripe for fraud and abuse. But the administration has not yet articulated the pull factor animating its cynical stance on family separation — the desire of parents to provide safety and protection for their children.