Though it received almost no media attention, a report from U.S. Customs and Border Protection noted that there has been a 40% decline in apprehensions of people illegally crossing into the country from Mexico. It was the lowest number five years.
More important, it was the first time since the feds starting keeping these numbers in 2000 that there was a decrease in amount of illegal immigrants caught.
What could account for such a marked decline? The answer is obvious. Mexicans and other Central Americans who seek to enter the United States illegally are aware of the election results. The inauguration of the man who not only said he would beef up border security while building a wall but also vowed to deport illegal immigrants in greater numbers than ever before was noted by potential migrants.
Rather than face the dangers of an already perilous venture with an even worse chance of being able to stay, it appears many decided not to try.
This is more than just speculation derived from statistics. The New York Times reported that interviews with those in shelters just across the border revealed many would-be migrants have decided sneaking into the United States isn’t worth the gamble, and “100 percent” say the reason is Trump.
Many Central Americans there are either going back home or have surrendered to Mexican authorities. The same tale is told at shelters for illegal immigrants inside the United States that are usually full but now sit relatively empty.
American politicians have been trying to deter illegal immigration for decades. But, aside from downturns in the US economy, nothing has worked as well as Trump’s harsh talk about a wall and deportations.
This should teach Trump’s critics some important lessons.
Trump was scorned for his tough talk on immigration, and making Mexico pay for the wall through new trade tariffs, but that tough talk has paid off. The administration has sent a clear message that our immigration laws are now being enforced, and those attempting to sneak into our country have taken notice.
For decades, migrants have continued to come here secure in the notion that they have a fair chance of evading border security and that, once inside the country, the odds favor their being able to stay. They were provided further incentive when, in recent years, Obama and even some Republicans championed plans that would, in one form or another, grant them legal status.
There’s a new sheriff in town, and his agenda is America First.