The future of American democracy may be decided by what happens on the Mexican border this year. That is to say, if the large constituency fearful about migration is unconvinced that President Joe Biden’s administration is implementing credible policies to control it, Trumpism could resurge big-time, at the midterm elections and thereafter.

Nor is this solely, or even principally, a problem for the U.S. In almost every advanced democracy, alarm about immigration is a major political issue. At next year’s election, it could make the right-wing candidate Marine Le Pen president of France. It contributed largely, perhaps decisively, to Britain’s exit from the European Union and Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s ascent to power. In countries as far apart as Australia and Sweden, established populations are troubled and divided by how many new people are enough.

"International migration has become increasingly weaponized,” says the United Nations 2020 World Migration Report. "It is being used by some as a political tool, undermining democracy and inclusive civic engagement.”