A surge of illegal immigration — estimates say that 90,000 unaccompanied children will have crossed over into the United States from Central America via Mexico this year by September’s end – has created a humanitarian crisis while raising searching questions about US immigration policy. Indeed, the 1,954-mile United States-Mexico border is the most frequently crossed international border in the world. What are the geopolitical issues framing the U.S.-Mexico border crisis? And how should Washington respond?
To comment on these issues, we are pleased to feature our own David Danelo, Director of Field Research at FPRI and former director of policy for US Customs and Border Protection. In 2009-2011, Danelo spent extensive time in northern Mexico as an FPRI Senior Fellow, culminating in his FPRI E-Book on The Geopolitics of Northern Mexico.
A 1998 U.S. Naval Academy graduate, Danelo served seven years as a Marine Corps infantry officer, including a 2004 Iraq deployment as a convoy commander, intelligence officer and provisional executive officer. Danelo is the author of two books, Blood Stripes: The Grunt’s View of the War in Iraq, which Gen. James Mattis listed among mandatory reading for Marines deploying to combat; and The Border: Exploring the U.S.-Mexican Divide, which earned a spot on the U.S. Customs and Border Protection commissioner’s reading list. His next book, The Return, due out in October, explores veterans’ transitions to civilian life.