Walls Against Migration? About Perceived Truth in the U.S. Migration Debate and the Effectiveness of Border Protection Measures

Victoria Rietig

Victoria Rietig is an independent migration expert advising governments and foundations on migration and refugee issues, and a Senior Migration Fellow at AICGS.

Her current clients include Germany’s development agency GIZ, the UK’s Foreign Office, the U.S. Department of State, and think tanks and foundations in Germany and the United States. At AICGS, she conducts research on workforce integration of refugees and migrants in the U.S. and Germany.

She has published and speaks widely about asylum and refugee issues, deportations, return migration, reintegration, unaccompanied child migration, labor migration, labor market integration, and migration and development.

She and her work have been quoted in national and international media outlets, including the New York Times, NPR, Huffington Post, Al Jazeera, Foreign Affairs, Handelsblatt Global Edition, La Reforma, El Universal, and many others.

In the past, she has provided migration expertise and consulted with governments including Switzerland (Foreign Ministry, EDA), the United States (Department of State and Department of Homeland Security), and Mexico (Foreign Ministry, SRE). She began her career a decade ago as a UN consultant, working on migration and development at the New York office of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). She later worked as a Policy Analyst at the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) and was a Fellow at the Atlantic Council, both think tanks in Washington, DC.

Ms. Rietig holds a Master in Public Policy (MPP) from Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government, with a focus on forced migration and human trafficking, and an M.A. in American studies, history, and psychology from Freie Universität Berlin, with a focus on U.S.-Latin American migration and integration.

Donald Trump’s plan to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border shines a spotlight on the issue of border protection. This article investigates how effectively walls and border control measures reduce unwanted migration flows, compared to efforts to fight root causes, and analyses as to why new migration trends in the United States and Mexico are being neglected in the U.S. debate.

Read in English.

Read in German.

This article was published by the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung on April 21, 2017.

The views expressed are those of the author(s) alone. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the American-German Institute.