Trump’s Mark

In Germany, one tends to overlook the fact that, even in classic immigration countries like the United States, the borders are not just standing open. The flood of migrants has grown too great.

Migration is perhaps the area that demonstrates most clearly the deep mark that Donald Trump has left on American politics. Even though the Democrats have long condemned him and his isolationist strategy, Joe Biden, too, is now charting a mostly restrictive course along the southern border.

The president has replaced the expired pandemic exception that limited entry during the past three years with a new asylum procedure that, above all, punishes unauthorized border crossings. That is an important point of adjustment because illegal residency is a much bigger issue there than in Europe. Other updates, such as outsourcing the process to Latin America, or a digital application, are also aimed at reducing pressure at the border.

A Problem of Wealthy Regions

In German debates, it is often overlooked that, even in classic immigration countries like the U.S., the borders are not just standing open with no restrictions. Despite all their differences, wealthy Western regions like North America, Europe or Australia face the same problem: The flood of migrants has become too great and is materially and politically overwhelming the destination countries.

In the European Union, too, recognition of this problem is finally growing, as is evident in the debate over expedited procedures along its external borders. Neither in Europe nor in the U.S. will these be the last measures

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