Constitutional Rights at the Border

The increasing hostility in the United States towards migrants and the growing militarization of the U.S.-Mexico border has had significant legal, political, and social repercussions. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the tensions over immigration by increasing the poverty, violence, and political instability that propel individuals to flee their country while simultaneously fueling anti-migrant sentiment within the United States. The paper explores the implications of these developments for the constitutional rights of asylum seekers and others fleeing persecution. More broadly, the paper describes how nationalistic and militarized approaches to the border obscure the real challenges created by shifts in global migration patterns and divert attention from developing policies that seek to enhance regional cooperation and uphold human rights protections–policies that are particularly important in addressing complex challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.