The Atlantic

The Rise of Refugee Offshoring

Trump tries out an idea that’s been gaining ground globally.
Source: Jorge Duenes / Reuters

President Donald Trump’s efforts to reshape American immigration policy continued apace with his speech to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday. The only solution for refugee crises, he said, “is to create the conditions where displaced persons can safely return home.” The sentiment that displaced people should return home rather than resettle permanently in the U.S. complements a longer-term shift in migrant policy driven by the Trump administration, which seeks to move both the people and the focus of policy off of U.S. shores.  

Trump’s other major move toward refugee offshoring came amid the flurry of actions on immigration and relations with Mexico. In a memo released last week, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security outlined a plan to return apprehended illegal immigrants to Mexico, even if they weren’t Mexican citizens. The idea was shot down quickly, with Mexico’s government dismissing it out of hand. But while this version of the plan may

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