The Quote Below: More Misinformation from the Media
“In FY 2017, CBP [Customs and Border Protection] recorded the lowest level of illegal cross-border migration on record, as measured by apprehensions along the border and inadmissible encounters at U.S. ports of entry,” according to the Trump administration’s DHS report released in December 2017. Did the situation at the border change dramatically over the next 13 months and go from an historic “lowest level of illegal cross-border migration” to a national crisis? The answer is, “No.”
“Border Patrol apprehensions along the Southwest border in FY 2018 were the 5th lowest level of illegal entry recorded in the past 46 years. (Apprehensions are a proxy for illegal entry.) While the 396,579 apprehensions in FY 2018 represented a 30 percent increase from FY 2017, that’s largely because the 303,916 apprehensions in FY 2017 were the lowest number of apprehensions recorded along the Southwest border since 1972 – nearly a half century ago
“Here is the big picture: The most important overlooked immigration development is that illegal entry by individuals from Mexico has plummeted by more than 90 percent since FY 2000, according to Border Patrol apprehensions data. That means large-scale illegal migration by Mexicans to the United States – the original public justification Donald Trump used for building a wall along the border – is simply over. Demographics and improved economic conditions in Mexico ended it.” — There Is No Border Crisis, Stuart Anderson, Forbes 1/10/19 [Link]
Fact Check on Quote: A weakness of this analysis is that it ignores one reason why the arrival of illegal aliens dipped so low in FY 2017. During that period President Trump sent a firm message that our country would be cracking down on illegal border crossings. Many potential illegal aliens got the message and stayed home. Unfortunately, open borders interests sabotaged much of what Trump tried to do. When that became apparent south of the border, the flow of illegal immigrants began to rise.
The increase to about 400,000 apprehensions, as the author says, is still relatively small compared with surges of illegal immigration in the past. Nevertheless, a spike of 30 percent is certainly significant—particularly if it signals the beginning of a sustained upward movement. Recent figures from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are giving support for this view.
As reported by The Washington Post, “While arrests along the border fell in recent years to their lowest levels in half a century, they are now returning to levels not seen since the George W. Bush Administration, driven by the record surge in the arrival of Central American families.” DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen says apprehensions are now on track to reach one million for in this fiscal year. In testimony before the House, she stated, “[l]legal immigration is simply spiraling out of control and threatening public safety and national security.”
The numbers, however, are not the only problem. Many migrants are bogus asylum claims. Often they bring children with them. They know that under our current law, the children can serve as a free pass for them to skip asylum hearings and settle illegally in the U.S. Taking care of the children is diverting the Border Patrol from carrying out its job to secure the border. As this is happening, the Border Patrol notes that a growing number of the border crossers are criminals with prior arrest records in the U.S.
The author is current to observe that conditions in some ways have improved in Mexico. But the power of the drug cartels in that country suggests that its stability is not guaranteed. A future crisis in that country could push migration again. In any case, there are plenty of Latin Americans other than Mexicans who would like to move to the U.S. A recent Gallup survey found that 42 million are so inclined and that five million of them are actually planning to make the move within the coming year. Lax border control would be a green light for them to come, one and all.
Eventually the courts will decide whether President Trump has authority to declare a national emergency and build a border wall. Whatever the case, the situation at the border is indeed an emergency.