President Trump has left no stone unturned in his fight against illegal immigration, and it’s becoming increasingly apparent that he’s succeeding.
Despite the obstructionism of Democrats in Congress, who have blocked every legislative effort to resolve the crisis on our southern border, Trump has nonetheless found bold and creative ways to address the problem using his executive authority, working closely with the Department of Homeland Security to identify and implement policies necessary to reduce the influx of illegal immigrants across our southern border.
Thanks to the President’s initiative, word is clearly getting out among would-be illegal immigrants that the perilous journey to the United States is no longer worth hazarding.
In August, Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) apprehended about 50,000 illegal immigrants. Though the figure is still at crisis levels, it represents a significant reduction from May’s high-water mark, when the agency apprehended 133,000 illegal immigrants. It’s also a significant drop-off from July, when CBP reported 85,000 apprehensions and encounters, marking just the second time in the past decade that apprehensions decreased from July to August. So while the number of attempted crossings remains high, the downward trend demonstrates that the President’s bold use of executive action and international deals is making a real difference on the ground.
The administration recently revised the Flores settlement agreement, for instance, closing a major loophole in our immigration law that created a perverse incentive for illegal immigrants to expose children — some of them “rented” from human traffickers — to the dangerous trip across America’s southern border. Instead of being forced to release those who bring children with them into American communities, Customs and Border Patrol is now able to house illegal immigrant families together after making arrests.
Similarly, the President took action to close another major immigration loophole earlier this year by reforming asylum policies to prevent “forum shopping” by economic migrants who bypass opportunities for asylum in other countries in order to take advantage of the superior economic opportunities available in the U.S. Unfortunately, a renegade liberal judge in California is on a crusade to block the rule, and recently put the new rule in legal limbo.
Trump has also used diplomacy as an effective tool in the fight against illegal immigration, reaching a major deal with Mexico that has succeeded in dramatically reducing the number of people crossing our southern border illegally. While the agreement was initially derided as a PR stunt by the mainstream media, Mexico has taken concrete steps to step up immigration enforcement and integrate operations more closely with the United States, including deploying more than 20,000 police officers and soldiers to stem the flow of illegal immigrants, especially those coming from Central America.
The Remain in Mexico policy has been among the most successful components of the deal, preventing thousands of immigrants from entering the country under false asylum claims while enabling them to apply for legal residency and work permits in Mexico.
The Trump administration followed that up by signing an agreement with Guatemala that requires migrants to seek asylum there before continuing on to the U.S. — a feat officials are trying to replicate with Honduras and El Salvadore, the other “northern triangle” countries that are responsible for a significant portion of the recent surge in illegal immigration.
Throughout it all, the President has made steady progress on building the border wall that our immigration enforcement agents consider absolutely vital, using his executive authority to secure funds in spite of Democrat obstruction. Just last week, the Pentagon formally approved plans to build 175 miles of barriers along the southern border using $3.6 billion that Trump reallocated earlier this year by declaring the border crisis a national emergency.
As effective as these measures have been at reducing illegal immigration, though, they’re no substitute for congressional action to fix our broken and outdated immigration laws. If Congress were to provide a clear mandate for border security, we could solve the crisis in 15 minutes, as the President says. So long as the Democrats control the House of Representatives, though, it’s clear that Congress will never take this issue seriously.
Since the Democrats have refused to take responsibility for ensuring the safety and prosperity of the American people, Trump has been forced to tackle the illegal immigration crisis all on his own. Fortunately, his bold actions are yielding incredible results. Imagine what we could get done if Democrats wanted to protect America as much as they want to protect illegal immigrants.