When U.S. President Donald J. Trump campaigned for office before his election in November 2016, he promised to do something to halt the rising tide of illegal immigrants streaming unchecked over the southern border with Mexico.
After assuming the Commander-in-Chief’s seat in the Oval Office, Trump set to work making good his word. Despite constant obstruction and negative flak from his Democratic opponents, the past two years of combined effort to prevent undocumented people from entering the country illegally is paying off.
January 2020 marked the eighth month in a row where arrests of illegals declined. As reported in the Washington Times:
“The Border Patrol’s 29,200 apprehensions along the southwestern border is the at its lowest in nearly two years, and the number of children and families — the toughest cases — is at its lowest since 2017.”
Contrast that to the 140,000 illegals who were arrested or “encountered” at the height of last year’s migrant influx.
Mark Morgan, acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner, commented on the significant difference between now and last summer:
“Eight months ago your chance of being allowed into the United States was pretty high. That has changed. Catch and release is all but done. You will not be allowed in.”
Morgan also cautioned that human trafficking groups, driven by money and power, “are changing their tactics” to counter the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance response to illegal intruders jumping the border from Mexico.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is preparing to deal with a resurgence of migratory hopefuls willing to break U.S. law to take unfair advantage of American opportunity and social benefits.
More migrants from Central America are arriving in family units or as unaccompanied minors. Current U.S. asylum laws combined with other immigration loopholes let such people “game the system in a way that unaccompanied adult Mexican nationals, who previously comprised the majority of illegal immigrants, cannot.”
Once inside the U.S., Central American families and unescorted children are almost impossible to remove.
One of President Trump’s tactics in the War on Illegals was to persuade the Mexican government to intervene with northbound migrant caravans before they reached the U.S. boundary. The U.S. leader threatened his southerly counterpart with tariffs on goods imported from Mexico unless more military might was brought to bear against the streams of migrants.
To that end, in January 2020, Mexican National Guard troops in full riot gear, under orders from President López Obrador, physically blocked migrants and fired tear gas canisters to disperse a crowd that wanted to storm the country’s southern border with Guatemala.
Hundreds of people were put on planes and buses back to Honduras, where most of the migrants in the latest caravan began their journey. One analyst aptly called this preventative remedy “a virtual wall in Mexico’s southern boundary with Guatemala.”
As of October 2019, 14 miles of 18-foot primary steel bollard fencing had been erected in San Diego, California. A secondary 30-foot steel bollard barrier behind that was approximately 80 percent complete. A steel-bollard style wall features hollow steel beams filled with concrete and rebar.
Bollards are upright steel posts mounted in or alongside roads and parking lots to control, direct or obstruct vehicular traffic or impact. The space between the bollards satisfies a visibility requirement while providing significant impedance (obstacle or hindrance) and denial capability.
The new fencing replaces 8-foot landing mats that were often reinforced by a steel mesh behind them. This primary project, begun in May 2018, has been completed. This month, the secondary project began in February and includes two new miles of wall.
In August 2019, apprehensions in the San Diego sector fell to 3,326, down from 6,880 in March and 5,884 in May. The decline in arrests is thought to be due to not only the beefed-up border wall but also to recent Mexican intervention and the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) issued by DHS in January 2019 after Trump took office.
The MPP allow U.S. officials to return to Mexico certain foreign individuals entering or seeking admission to the U.S. from Mexico – illegally or without proper documentation – to wait outside of the U.S. during their immigration proceedings. Mexico will provide the rejected asylum-seekers with all appropriate humanitarian protections for the duration of their stay.
Federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents also drew a very clear line on behalf of the Trump administration when they arrested two unrelated men who had been arrested numerous times between 2004 and 2010 and deported back to Mexico on multiple occasions.
The repeat offenders had sought refuge in a California courthouse to take advantage of a new liberal sanctuary law (AB-668) signed last October by California’s Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom. AB-668 requires ICE agents to get a federal arrest warrant before apprehending suspects in California courthouses.
ICE officers ignored the state law and performed their federal duty.
Due to the Trump administration’s unified immigration policy and multi-agency efforts, fewer illegals are in U.S. custody and shelter beds are once again available for those who qualify legally to occupy them.