WASHINGTON — Even before the political spectacle of a Republican governor flying migrants to a tiny resort island in Massachusetts, President Biden’s top border officials decided there had to be a better asylum system in America.
Because of new global migration patterns, people are heading toward the southern border of the United States, many fleeing instability, persecution, war, famine and economic distress. The numbers are overwhelming; for the first time, the number of arrests of undocumented immigrants along the southwestern border exceeded two million in one year.
Venezuelans, Cubans and Nicaraguans are joining others who are lured by America’s roaring job market and the fact that Mr. Biden has promised not to separate families, build a wall across the border or force asylum seekers to wait in squalid camps in Mexico — all policies embraced by former President Donald J. Trump.
But the question that remains has vexed presidents and lawmakers from both parties for decades.
What do we do with all of these people?