Cruelty won’t stop the crisis at the border

Denis McDonough, an executive fellow for the Keough School’s Global Policy Initiative, calls for more humane and efficient alternatives to the US’ current immigration system alongside Cecilia Muñoz, vice president for public interest technology and local initiatives at New America, in a New York Times op-ed:

“The suggestion that subjecting migrants to appalling conditions might serve as a deterrent is not just cruel; it conveys a grave misunderstanding of the forces that drive people to undertake this dangerous journey and of what it will take to manage the number of people arriving at the border.

That’s why, while Democratic members of Congress and presidential candidates are rightly drawing attention to the plight of migrants, they need to do more than condemn the current conditions; they need to show that unlike Mr. Trump, they understand the nature of the crisis, both at the border and at its origins in Central America. And they need to offer the country a workable plan to address it.”

Originally published at on July 11, 2019.

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US imposes sanctions on Hezbollah officials accused of supporting Iran

George A. Lopez, professor of peace studies at the Keough School of Global Affairs, provided expert commentary on the Trump administration’s use of sanctions against Hezbollah officials in Lebanon in a New York Times article Tuesday.

According to the article, the administration imposed the sanctions as a move against supposed allies of the Iranian government. The use of economic sanctions for political leverage has been a trademark of U.S. foreign policy under Trump, Lopez said.

“The notion of simply listing people and freezing their accounts without evidence of their specific financial support to Iran or specific terrorist activities, that is a reach,” said Lopez, an expert in economic sanctions. “But it is consistent with the use — some would say misuse — of sanctions by this administration. The emphasis is less on direct causal linkage and more guilt by association.”

Originally published at on July 9, 2019.

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