Enforcing the law makes a difference, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said Wednesday as he pointed to the dramatic drop in the numbers of illegal immigrants caught trying to enter the United States.
Ilegals got Trump’s memo “Do Not Enter”:
Illegal border crossings decrease by 40 percent in Trump’s first month.
— Eddie (@eddiecarl4468) March 9, 2017
The U.S. Customs and Border Patrol reported that the number of illegal border crossings dropped roughly 40 percent from 31,578 in January to 18,762 in February.
Kelly said the drop is even more noteworthy because it runs counter to the traditional 10 to 20 percent increase from January to February.
One expert said there is no question that the actions taken by President Donald Trump to beef up immigration enforcement are having an effect.
Crazy thing happened. Trump decided to enforce our immigration laws and illegal border crossing slowed to a trickle. Who knew?!
— Bill Mitchell (@mitchellvii) March 9, 2017
Trump, who has approved building a wall to seal of portions of the U.S. southern border with Mexico, has also signed an executive order increasing border security, toughening the rules for deporting illegal immigrants.
“Deterrence through perception is central to these executive orders,” said Faye Hipsman, a policy analyst at the Migration Policy Institute. “Even floating the possibility of expanding detention at the border makes somebody less likely to come.”
Kelly echoed tat point in releasing the latest numbers.
“Since the Administration’s implementation of Executive Orders to enforce immigration laws, apprehensions and inadmissible activity is trending toward the lowest monthly total in at least the last five years,” he said.
“The decrease is also encouraging news because it means many fewer people are putting themselves and their families at risk of exploitation, assault and injury by human traffickers and the physical dangers of the treacherous journey north,” he added, noting that human smugglers now often charge as much as $8,000 a person to bring illegal immigrants into the United States.
Kelly emphasized that the peak time for illegal crossings has yet to arrive.
“We will remain vigilant to respond to any changes in these trends, as numbers of illegal crossings typically increase between March and May. However, the early results show that enforcement matters, deterrence matters, and that comprehensive immigration enforcement can make an impact,” he said.
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