Migrant shelters along the southern border are filling up again. Immigration lawyers in the region say their caseloads are spiking. Across the Southwest, border officers are stopping more than 1,000 people a day. Just months after border apprehensions hit a 17-year low, which administration officials proudly celebrated as a “Trump effect,” the number of migrants trying to enter the United States has been surging, surpassing 40,000 along the Southwest border last month, more than double the springtime numbers, according to new data from the Homeland Security Department.Time to quit dawdling and build that wall. Also, this talk about amnesty emboldens would-be illegal aliens. Let’s have no more of it.
‘Trump Effect Wears Off as Migrants Resume Their Northward Push, by Caitlin Dickerson, New York Times, January 10, 2018
Many factors, including the Central American economy and gang violence, play a role in migration patterns. But it also appears that any deterrent effect of Mr. Trump’s tough talk and ramped-up immigration enforcement has begun to wane.We need a wall, we need to avoid amnesty, we need to plug up the anchor baby loophole and we need to enact E-Verify. ASAP.
In interviews, volunteers and lawyers along the border say that migrants and smugglers have stopped lying low, deciding that trying to get a foothold in a well-off and safe country was no riskier than in the past.“I think this was a ‘Let’s wait and see what’s going to happen’ period,” said Ruben Garcia, director of the Annunciation House, a shelter in El Paso that provides housing to recent border crossers as they search for more permanent places to live. Mr. Garcia pointed to the president’s plan to hire tens of thousands of border agents, which was announced in February but has yet to come to fruition because Congress still has not provided the funding. The same is true for Mr. Trump’s centerpiece project, the border wall. “After it became evident that there wasn’t a dramatic change on the part of the administration, then the smugglers started selling their product again and the flow began to resume,” Mr. Garcia said.Trump has a window of opportunity to enact real immigration reform, and if he and Congress don’t take advantage of it, it could be too late.
In releasing the data, the administration acknowledged that it had lost ground in its effort to stem immigration. But it also seized on the statistics to make the case that Congress should overhaul immigration laws to deter more people from coming. The Trump administration and Republicans in Congress have been seeking new border security measures in exchange for permitting 800,000 young undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers to remain in the United States. On Tuesday [January 9th], the president indicated he would even consider allowing millions more unauthorized immigrants to remain in the country, provided Congress took steps to keep new ones from entering.Trump shouldn’t be saying things like that. As for this obsession on the “DREAMer” it distorts the whole political dialogue on immigration which ought to center on what is good for the United States, not what is more convenient for illegal aliens who are citizens of other countries.
The numbers of apprehensions are an indication of border activity, but they do not count those who slip through undetected. Though the recent increase makes clear that the flow of migrants has resumed, the numbers have not approached the crisis levels of 2014, when they reached nearly 70,000 in a single month, many of them children traveling alone. Homeland Security officials noted that the 2017 apprehensions still represented a 40 percent decrease from the year before. “The final border apprehension numbers of 2017, specifically at the southern border, undeniably prove the effectiveness of President Trump’s commitment to securing our borders,” Tyler Houlton, a spokesman for the agency, said in a statement.That’s good, but Trump and Congress need to strike while the iron is hot, with real reforms that protect the border, American workers and American sovereignty.