The border wall may not be up yet, but that doesn’t mean that the Trump administration isn’t taking a major bite out of illegal immigration already.
Testimony from Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly on Wednesday revealed that apprehensions for illegal border crossings were down 71 percent since the last full month of the Obama administration, according to U.S. News and World Report.
In written testimony, the DHS chief said there were less than 17,000 apprehensions in March. That’s down from 58,478 in December — a sign that fewer are attempting the crossing into the United States.
According to The Associated Press, that’s the lowest figure in 17 years.
“We’ve seen an absolutely amazing drop in the number of migrants coming out of Central America taking that terribly dangerous route from Central America to the United States,” Kelly said during testimony before the Senate Homeland Security Committee. “In particular, we’ve seen a dramatic reduction in the number of families and the number of children that are in that pipeline.”
The 71 percent drop is a lot more significant than the 40 percent drop between January and February, which was the first full month of the Trump administration.
In testimony Tuesday, Border Patrol Chief David V. Aguilar said apprehensions through March were down 67 percent, The Washington Times reported. He credited the president with the dramatic change, including the work of Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents dealing with illegal aliens who have made it into the country.
“This administration has said we’re going to address illegal immigration. ICE has started working in the interior, unlike other times. So that message resonates,” Aguilar said.
And this is before Trump’s “big, beautiful wall” even goes up.
These statistics prove something that many pundits on the left have vigorously denied for years — we can do something about the illegal immigration problem, we just chose not to.
When illegal immigration is discussed, the first point the left will invariably bring up is the accusation of racism, as if any sort of legal control over who enters our country is bigotry. Funny, I never hear them saying that our nation’s airports should stop checking passports and travel documents. Under the left’s logic, requiring a visa to enter this country should be racist, too. But I digress.
When that argument is exhausted, the second response is usually to throw their hands up in the air and claim that we simply can’t stop illegal immigration, that it would be physically impossible.
Yet, with just a few small adjustments in policy, it’s become clear that that the Trump administration has made illegal border crossings significantly more difficult — and therefore less attractive to even try. This is without a wall and without any major increase in monitoring technology deployed to the border.
In other words, this could have been done years ago. Slowing illegal immigration wasn’t a question of ability, but merely one of will.