WASHINGTON, DC – MAY 10, 2023 – The Atlantic Council today announced the formation of a new coalition of experts in border and immigration security and cross-border trade who will work together to advance nonpartisan, pragmatic solutions to the United States’ border and immigration challenges.

In one day, on May 11, 2023, the federal government will end the authority to turn back arrivals at the border under Title 42 of the US Code. “The expected surge of prospective migrants makes this coordinated effort more urgent than ever,” said Thomas Warrick, Atlantic Council senior fellow and director of the Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security’s Future of DHS Project, and one of the organizers of the coalition.

The new coalition includes experts from the Atlantic Council, the Bipartisan Policy Center, the Homeland Security Experts Group, and others in the private and nonprofit sectors. Members of the coalition collectively have more than a century of expertise in border and immigration security; promotion of lawful trade, travel, and immigration; counterterrorism; foreign policy; and national security.

“The need now is greater than ever to find nonpartisan, workable solutions to our country’s border challenges,” Warrick said. “It’s important to look at these challenges in a nonpartisan, coordinated, and integrated way. There are good ideas in both parties—no one has a monopoly. Success will require putting these ideas together in the right way.”

The experts’ coalition will propose nonpartisan and pragmatic approaches to strengthen border security, address the practical aspects of immigration, and improve cross-border trade and commerce.

“I am pleased to join my esteemed colleagues in this endeavor to bring pragmatic, politically viable solutions to the table while continuing to encourage Republicans and Democrats to come together on realistic and effective policymaking that addresses current and future border crises,” said Theresa Cardinal Brown, Senior Advisor for Immigration and Border Policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center. “The Bipartisan Policy Center has long advocated for bipartisan immigration and border solutions, and the need to redefine and reexamine border security and migration management has never been more urgent.” 

“It’s time to put partisanship aside and work together as Americans to reach sensible solutions to these complex challenges,” said Seth Stodder, an Atlantic Council nonresident senior fellow who has served in senior-level homeland security roles in Democratic and Republican administrations. “To be sure, America is a nation of immigrants and we are a compassionate country. But we are also a country of laws, and the American people have a right to expect secure borders and an efficient, well-functioning immigration system that meets our country’s needs and lives up to our best ideals.”

“Having worked the frontline and in DHS leadership positions for 34 years, I have a comprehensive understanding of the problems and wide-ranging implications of our current border crisis,” said Ron Vitiello, former chief of the US Border Patrol and retired acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). “I’m participating with these experts to develop sustainable solutions that will secure the border for our country in the long term. I urge policymakers to consider our recommendations and act to solve this problem in a sustainable way.”

In September 2022, the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center, in conjunction with the University of Texas at El Paso’s Hunt Institute for Global Competitiveness and El Colegio de la Frontera Norte, published a report that even a ten-minute reduction in average wait times at the southwest border could lead to a $26 million increase in commerce, adding $5.4 million to the gross domestic product of the United States. Jason Marczak, senior director of the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center, commented: “Increasing economic efficiencies at the border goes hand-in-hand with making the border more secure as agents can then focus on the higher risk concerns.”

For more information or to interview members of the coalition, contact the Atlantic Council: press@atlanticcouncil.org.