In the wake of a dramatic regime switch in US migration policy towards Latin America, Klaus F. Zimmermann (Princeton University and UNU-MERIT) was visiting the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington DC on January 25, 2017. As a member of the Steering Committee of a new large research project on international migration dynamics in Central America and Mexico, he was able to discuss the developments and to advice research.
Near-by, the newly elected US President Donald Trump announced executive orders against illegal immigration. The measures include the ‘immediate construction of a border wall’, enforcement of deportations, eliminating federal funding to so-called sanctuary cities — a loose term that refers to communities that shield undocumented immigrants from deportation -, and restrictions for refugees from Muslim countries. Some experts and observers have found those initiatives unnecessary, others ‘symbolic’. Time will show how long it is possible to ignore reality.
In front of the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington DC
In the entrance hall of the bank