What’s behind the US immigration crisis?


FILE – In this Wednesday, May 22, 2019 file photo migrants mainly from Central America guide their children through the entrance of a World War II-era bomber hanger in Deming, N.M. A panel of appeals court judges in California will hear arguments in the long-running battle between advocates for immigrant children and the U.S. government over conditions in detention and holding facilities near the southwest border. (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio, File)

Immigrant communities all across the U.S. are on edge this week as Immigration and Customs Enforcement, also known as ICE, raids major cities in search of migrants living in the country illegally.

The raids also come amid growing calls for an intervention at the U.S.’s southern border with Mexico, where thousands of undocumented migrants and would-be asylum seekers are being held in what human rights activists say are inhumane conditions — including overcrowding and a lack of food, water and showers.

But despite a recent uptick in border crossings, immigration to the United States — both legal and illegal migration — is down. So what exactly is the state of U.S. immigration and the crisis at the border?

On The Heat Podcast, host Anand Naidoo talks with Sarah Pierce, policy analyst at the Migration Policy Institute, about who exactly is making the harrowing journey to the United States. Why? And what exactly is happening at the country’s southern border?