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ICYMI: WRC’s Michelle Brané Gives the Facts on Border Numbers on Pre-Debate Press Call

WRC Joins Immigration and Latino Voter Experts to Preview What to Look for in Final Presidential Debate

A recording of yesterday’s call is available here.

Washington, DC – With immigration set to be a major focus of the final presidential debate in Las Vegas last night, Michelle Brané of the Women’s Refugee Commission joined immigration expert Mashall Fitz of Emerson Collective and Latino Voter Expert Angel Maria Kelley of the Center for American Progress to discuss the facts and what to look for when it comes to topics such as border security, Central American refugees, and the two candidates’ immigration policy visions.

In her statement, Brané addressed the findings that border crossings and apprehensions are higher than ever stating that this is “simply not true.” Brané explained that the number of individuals attempting to cross the border has in fact been falling steadily since 2004. This year, there were approximately 409,000 apprehensions, while in 2000, this number totaled upwards of 1,000,000. What has increased is the number of women and children seeking asylum in the United States, a number positively correlated with increases in Central American violence and reflective of a severe refugee crisis.

According to Brané:

“Recent reports imply that the number of migrants crossing the Southern border are higher than ever. This is simply not true. The number of crossers has actually significantly decreased over the past 10 – 15 years. What has increased significantly is the percentage of that population that is comprised of women, children and individuals seeking asylum. The Administration has cracked down on the arrival of these vulnerable populations in an attempt to detain, punish and deter them. These policies don’t work because if someone is fleeing for their life, locking the door will not help. They will find a way out. The number of arrivals is manageable if we take a smart approach and match our border policies to the demographics of who is coming – these are not rapists and murderers but instead women and children seeking protection.”

Brané also emphasized that American borders are more currently secure than ever. According to Brané, the Administration must focus on an approach that adjusts to the changing demographics of the people that are arriving at the border and do away with family detention.