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History As It Happens

Jun 13, 2024

American public opinion is increasingly intolerant of migrants, given the record numbers who have illegally crossed the southern border over the past several years. The U.S. immigration system is broken, as harsher enforcement in the name of deterrence has not magically fixed the root causes of human migration from Central and South America. Under election year pressure, President Joseph Biden signed an executive order to bar most asylum seekers, but comprehensive immigration reform remains out of reach. The asylum system, codified in 1980, was never designed to handle so many people. In this episode, New Yorker staff writer Jonathan Blitzer, the author of "Everyone Who Is Gone Is Here," explains the ins and outs of asylum and the human costs of failing to reform a broken system.