May 22, 2017

You’re not going to believe how much illegal immigration has dropped since January.

According to figures released yesterday, the number of illegal aliens crossing the U.S. southwestern border has dropped by an astonishing 76% since President Trump took office.

More specifically, the number of minor children crossing the border with or without a parent has been cut even further.

Washington Times:

Illegal immigration across the southwestern border is down a stunning 76 percent since President Trump was elected, with the flow of children and families dropping even faster as analysts say the administration’s commitment to enforcing the law has changed the reality along the border.

Overall apprehensions by the Border Patrol dropped to just 11,129 in April, according to numbers released Tuesday, marking the lowest monthly total for any month in decades.

The number of unaccompanied illegal immigrant children nabbed at the border dropped below 1,000 – a level not seen since before the surge that bedeviled President Obama during most of his second term.

Even before a foot of Mr. Trump’s planned border wall is built or any more agents are hired, the threat of being sent home has forced would-be migrants to rethink making the journey, officials said.

“A lot of the discussion about changes in our enforcement policy and the way we are going about doing business, we believe that has deterred people,” said Homeland Security spokesman David Lapan. “When you get here, it is likely you are going to get caught. You are going to be returned to your country.”

That approach marks a major change from the Obama administration, which struggled to handle the flow of illegal immigrants from Central America.

Under Obama-era policies, hundreds of thousands of children and families from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras were caught and then released into the interior of the U.S., where they often failed to show up for their deportations and instead disappeared into the shadows.

Mr. Trump has vowed quick deportations and has called for expanding detention facilities to hold illegal immigrants in the meantime, preventing them from slipping away.

“This is messaging, backed up by actual enforcement and policy changes that people are responding to,” said Jessica Vaughan, policy studies director at the Center for Immigration Studies. “The continued drop suggests this is more than just a fluke.”

Border apprehensions are considered a rough yardstick for the overall flow of illegal immigration, so a drop in arrests is believed to reflect an overall drop in the flow of people.

At its peak early in the last decade, the Tucson sector, which is just one of nine regions along the border, regularly recorded more than 70,000 apprehensions in a single month. Last month, Tucson reported fewer than 1,500 arrests.

This is one instance where anti-Trump rhetoric has actually had a real-world positive impact.  U.S. policies have not changed all that much (the difference: they are being enforced).  Getting the word out that the president is serious about border security has made a world of difference.  Potential border-jumpers realize that if they are caught, they won’t be released, as they have been in the past.  They are being sent home or detained, and that seems to have scared many off.

But these figures are a double-edged sword.  Anti-wall Republicans may use them to argue that there is no need for a wall, that enforcing current law and increasing the number of border agents would work just as well and not cost a potential $20 billion.

Wall proponents could argue that a wall guarantees that after Trump leaves office, no matter who is president, the flow of illegals will continue to be restricted.  But I think the psychology of illegals will change if a president is elected who promises to enforce the law the same way Obama did.  In other words, zero chance of being sent home, even if you get caught crossing the border illegally.  Right now, the numbers have slowed to a trickle because the psychology has changed with President Trump taking office.  But elect a president who won’t enforce the law, and there could be a surge of illegals trying to cross – wall or no wall.

That’s a debate still to be held.  For the moment, the numbers are encouraging and reflect a reality that even the most ardent Trump supporters could not imagine.

Source: American Thinker

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