Report Challenges Everything You Heard About the US Border Over the Last 15 Months

November 7th 2016

Danielle DeCourcey

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump made the U.S. border with Mexico a central point of his campaign in this election cycle. Trump called for a giant wall to be built on the border, and declared that he would make Mexico pay for it.

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Posted by ATTN: on Monday, February 1, 2016

Supporters of this giant border wall list national security as a top reason for its creation.

However a new report by the Washington Office on Latin America, a human rights and advocacy group, challenges that justification for the border wall.

Field researchers went to the border in El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juárez, Mexico in April and found that "evidence suggests a potential humanitarian—not security—emergency."

Here are three key finding from the report:

1. Crime in some U.S. border towns is actually lower that the national average.

The crime rate in El Paso for 2015 was lower than the national average, according to WOLA. The murder rate in Ciudad Juárez rose in 2016, but that number still represented an improvement from 2010 when it was considered to be the murder capital of the world.

2. Many of the immigrants coming to the border should be considered refugees.

Many of the undocumented immigrants coming to the border are fleeing violence in Central America. In the first six months of 2016, border patrol agents apprehended 26,000 unaccompanied minors and more than 29,000 families seeking refuge from harsh living conditions Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.

Sen. Bernie Sanders wrote a passionate response in December of 2015 asking the U.S. to stop deporting immigrants from Central America.

3. Parts of the border are understaffed.

Slow screening processes mean that there aren't as many border patrol agents at entries to the U.S. from Mexico.

"Much of the delay in hiring results from heightened screening procedures for prospective Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agents to guard against corruption and abuse, an important effort in need of additional resources," wrote WOLA. "Screening delays are also the principal reason for a slight recent reduction in Border Patrol staffing."

Read the full WOLA report here.

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