If you build it, they won’t come.
Admittedly, it wouldn’t have been ridiculous to predict a surge in illegal immigration after Donald Trump’s victory, as illegals poured over the border ahead of the wall being built. Remittances back to Mexico surged following Trump’s victory (which he promised to tax) — but that was all. 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,” we noted in a recent article.
Furthermore, preliminary figures in January showed family unit apprehensions down 42 percent, and apprehensions of unaccompanied minors down 27 percent.
And last month, we saw yet another (yuge) decline.
According to the Washington Times:
Illegal immigration across the U.S.-Mexico border has continued to fall under President Trump, dropping 67 percent through the end of March, the former border commissioner told Congress on Tuesday.
That’s even bigger than the drop reported for February, when the number of illegal immigrants caught — a yardstick for the overall flow — dropped by 40 percent.
“It’s actually up to a 67 percent drop compared to last year,” David V. Aguilar, a former chief of the Border Patrol and former acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, told the Senate Homeland Security Committee.
The agency has been releasing its monthly figures each month, though the March figures have not been released.
But a drop anywhere close to the 67 percent figure Mr. Aguilar cited would be stunning, and suggests the early steps the president has taken to free up agents to enforce immigration laws at the interior and the border, and his plans to build a border wall, have deterred tens of thousands of would-be crossers.
Mr. Aguilar said these kinds of drops have occurred before, during the Reagan administration, after Congress passed a broad amnesty granting legal status to millions of illegal immigrants, and promised to get tough on enforcement.
The legalization followed, but the tough enforcement didn’t come — and illegal immigration soared in the ensuing 20 years.
If we’re to learn from history, the only way to sustain these declines is for Trump to follow through on immigration enforcement, and construction of the wall. The border wall was the foundation of his campaign, and he pledged to triple the number of ICE agents as president.
Let’s just hope the Congress lets him.
[Note: This post was written by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]