There’s not even a border wall yet, and illegal immigration has already been on the decline since Donald Trump’s victory.
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.
The threat of strict immigration enforcement has acted as a deterrent before that enforcement actually came – and now, Jeff Sessions is about to up the ante.
According to Townhall, Speaking from the U.S.-Mexico border in Nogales, Arizona Tuesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced major changes to Justice Department protocol when it comes to charging and prosecuting illegal aliens.
“For those that continue to seek improper and illegal entry into this country, be forewarned: This is a new era. This is the Trump era. The lawlessness, the abdication of the duty to enforce our immigration laws and the catch and release practices of old are over,” Sessions said.
Here are the details (bolding is Townhall’s): Starting today, federal prosecutors are now required to consider for prosecution all of the following offenses:
First: The transportation or harboring of aliens. As you know too well, this is a booming business down here. No more. We are going to shut down and jail those who have been profiting off this lawlessness — people smuggling gang members across the border, helping convicted criminals re-enter this country and preying on those who don’t know how dangerous the journey can be.
Second: Where an alien has unlawfully entered the country, which is a misdemeanor, that alien will now be charged with a felony if they unlawfully enter or attempt enter a second time and certain aggravating circumstances are present.
Third: Aliens that illegally re-enter the country after prior removal will be referred for felony prosecution — and a priority will be given to such offenses, especially where indicators of gang affiliation, a risk to public safety or criminal history are present.
Fourth: where possible, prosecutors are directed to charge criminal aliens with document fraud and aggravated identity theft — the latter carrying a two-year mandatory minimum sentence.
The most relevant provision is the second – that illegal immigration will go to being a felony from a misdemeanor if a repeat attempt to enter the U.S. is made. It’s a two-strike policy when it should be a one-strike policy, but it’s an improvement from the status quo.
[Note: This post was authored by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]