Prof. Sophia Jordán Wallace and colleague Prof. Chris Zepeda-Millán in The Washington Post showing that American opinion is for change regarding family separation at the border.
Detaining migrant children and separating migrant families at the border were among President Donald Trump’s most notorious immigraion policies. Activities have been pressuring President Biden to do more to reverse these. The Washington post researched the history of and support for these and other border policies in our book “Walls, Cages, and Family separation: Race and Immigration Policy in the Trump Era.” They find that Americans are strongly opposed to detaining migrant children. Separating families is also unpopular, but Republicans and people anxious about cultural change support that policy more than others do.
The Biden administration continues to face even greater pressure as the number of unaccompanied minors entering the country continues to grow and some migrant children face prolonged detention. But releasing children and not keeping them in detention is not only what activists want, but also what the public supports. It will be important for the Biden administration to carefully consider how it will address these threat narratives and frame its own policies to generate public support.