As you’re all aware, President Donald Trump was quick to take action on a key part of his campaign platform after taking office: immigration. The Wednesday following the inauguration, Trump signed two executive orders signaling the construction of his promised border wall, and boosting border patrol and increasing the number of ICE officers who carry out deportations. The orders also called for stripping sanctuary cities of federal grant funding and outlined new criteria to make criminal illegal aliens the main priority for deportation.
You won’t hear it on the news, but border crossings are already falling as a result. At last week’s CPAC, Sen. Ted Cruz joined radio host Mark Levin on stage. He brought news that “…oddly enough, you and I have not seen…on [the] 6 o’clock news.”
Cruz continued by saying:
“So this week, I was down at the border, I was down at McAllen, joined the Border Patrol, did an air patrol up in the planes, went — rode in a gunboat up and down the Rio Grande, joined them on a midnight ride along as they were enforcing the border and — and let me break a little bit of news here. You know what the Border Patrol told me in the Rio Grande Valley Sector? That since Inauguration Day, illegal crossings have dropped 50 percent.”
Cruz attributed that to the message sent by Trump, that we have an administration that will strictly be enforcing the law.
Responding to Cruz’s swipe at the media for not reporting the statistic, the Washington Post’s Erik Wemple argues that there was already a trend in border crossings prior to the inauguration.
He further noted that:
In December, a total of 15,226 people presenting themselves at ports of entry on the Southwest Border were deemed inadmissible compared to 16,155 in November and 20,531 in October,” reports U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
There may be a reasonable explanation, however, as to why the media isn’t focused on Cruz’s scoop: The numbers haven’t been officially released yet. Shortly after Cruz made his claim about the media’s lack of interest in this matter, the Erik Wemple Blog checked with CBP and received a response that the migration page is in the process of being updated. As of Thursday night, that page included figures through the end of December. A CBP rep declined to comment on Cruz’s claims.
While the official numbers aren’t out until Thursday, Wemple points to preliminary CBP numbers for January obtained by CNN — but not yet released to the public — that showed family unit apprehensions decreased by 42 percent, unaccompanied minors were down 39 percent and total apprehensions decreased by 27 percent (to counter Cruz’s narrative that the media ignored this story). Of course, Wemple only pointed to two news organizations that actually reported on the expected decline in border crossings, which really isn’t much of a rebuttal that this wasn’t information you’d hear on the 6 o’clock news.
We’ll find out the official numbers for sure on Thursday, but one thing is certain: the number of illegal crossings will continue to dwindle before a border reduces that number to zero.
[Note: This post was authored by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]