3 Experts Available for Timely Analysis on Immigration Debate

Communications Associate

The immigration debate has taken center stage in Washington DC yet again: this week the Supreme Court will be hearing arguments in Biden v. Texas, which will determine whether federal immigration law requires the Biden administration to keep the "Remain in Mexico" policy in place (a policy requiring certain non-citizens to return to Mexico during their immigration proceedings). Meanwhile, the Trump-era health order known as Title 42 -- which allowed US border officials to turn migrants back to Mexico or their home countries immediately because of the pandemic -- is expected to be repealed next month, a move that is drawing pushback from GOP lawmakers. For reporters covering either of these topics, the following experts are available to provide commentary and analysis: 

American University

Castañeda is the founding director of the Immigration Lab. He is also the author of several books, including Building Walls: Excluding Latin People in the United States. He has written for The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Hill, CityLab, and is a frequent guest on France24, Telemundo, Univision, and NTN24. He has two forthcoming books on immigration myths and Central American unaccompanied children.


Quote: "The main problem for asylum seekers is the uncertainty and the long waits. Quick decisions about the ability to ask for asylum and whether they can enter the U.S. with permission would go a long way to reduce suffering and help them consider options like returning to their country if they do not face persecution or apply for asylum in Mexico or another country."

The University of Texas at El Paso

Heyman recently chaired the American Anthropological Association’s task force on border walls, whose report was recently published. He is the author of numerous accessible public essays as well as academic works, including one publication relevant to preventing entry at the border. His latest published book is Paper Trails: Migrants, Documents, and Legal Insecurity


Quote: The idea of deterrence at the border—as carried out in Title 42--is that if we make people’s experience sufficiently difficult and painful, they will not attempt to enter U.S. territory where they can seek their legal right to request asylum. This assumes that their decision is not strongly motivated and can easily be set aside. The large majority have certainly heard about Title 42 in their home countries and they are not yet deterred. The assumption of deterrence has failed. Title 42 is thus an ineffective policy, yet this major policy failure is mostly not talked about in the debate (good or bad) around it."

University of Louisville

Walker is a geographer whose research focuses on borders, security, and US-Mexico.


Quote: "Remain in Mexico is not in the best interest of those seeking asylum. The policy is considered inhumane and runs contrary to international law according to many legal experts. Many struggle to find legal representation outside of the US and are forced to return to a country where they are in personal danger."