In what border patrol agents say is a direct result of president Trump’s tough talking border stance, illegal crossing of our nation’s border has decreased by a whopping 40 percent.
Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said on Wednesday that the number of illegal border crossings dropped from 31,578 to 18,762 during the first month of the Trump administration.
Typically, said Kelly, border agents report a 10 to 20 percent increase in the number of illegal immigrants crossing the southern U.S. border from January to February.
“The drop in apprehensions shows a marked change in trends,” Kelly said. “Since the administration’s implementation of executive orders to enforce immigration laws, apprehensions and inadmissible activity is trending toward the lowest monthly total in at least the last five years.”
The news is not surprising, say sources close to the 45th president, as Trump famously campaigned on the promise to secure the nation’s border.
“We will remain vigilant to respond to any changes in these trends, as numbers of illegal crossings typically increase between March and May,” Kelly said. “However, the early results show that enforcement matters, deterrence matters, and that comprehensive immigration enforcement can make an impact.”
While the new statistics are welcome news to law enforcement and border control officials, members of the former Obama administration are less than pleased by the announcement.
“Well, the bullies can gloat and preen that they chased the skinny kids off the block,” Leon Rodriguez, a former Obama administration director of US Citizenship and Immigration Services said in a statement. “We need to understand what has occurred here. Poor people — in many cases, mothers with children or children alone, fleeing intolerable violence and poverty — have been scared away. Many of those are people with legitimate asylum claims that would ultimately have been granted had they actually reached ports of entry.”
The Trump administration and advocates for securing the nation’s border, however, see the statistics as a tremendous step in the right direction when it comes to reducing crime and ridding the country of illegal drugs.
“Firmness pays,” Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, an advocacy group that supports restricting immigration to the U.S. told WGN Chicago
“Trump’s tough talk tells you all you need to know,” Stein said. “It’s the language people understand. It’s obviously the language people on the other side of this issue dislike, but … it’s a sad fact but people try to game the system. There’s a huge amount of demand to try to live in a country like the United States, so in the end, the only way you can make sure everybody plays the rules and ensure fairness is by making sure no one can jump the line, so tough talk, making sure that anyone, smuggler, alien, that they get it.”
During his first week in office, president Trump signed an executive order increasing border security and authorizing the construction of a border wall along the U.S. southern border. The president has also begun the process of hiring 5,000 additional border patrol officials and 10,000 ICE agents in an effort to speed up deportations.