Years of mass illegal immigration through the southern border has come to a screeching halt over the last few years.
So why haven’t we heard about it?
It was one of President Donald Trump’s top campaign promises, that’s why.
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For the 2020 fiscal year, which ended last month, just over 450,000 migrants were detained along the southern border, according to the latest figures from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB).
Acting CPB Commissioner Mark Morgan said his team was getting the job done even as Congress stalled their funding – and thanked the Trump administration.
“This administration has been overwhelmingly successful at shutting down many of the loopholes being exploited, which Congress has refused to address again and again,” Morgan declared last week at a news conference.
“Make no mistake: We’re in a better position right now because of this administration’s immigration policies and initiatives.”
Those initiatives include common-sense reforms put into place by Trump earlier in his presidency. They are now bearing fruit.
For example, Morgan pointed to a Trump order that asylum-seekers with pending court cases need to wait in Mexico.
Under the Obama administration’s policy, they were allowed entry into the United States even before those cases had been decided… which critics say allowed most of them to skip the process completely, as 40 percent never show up for their hearings.
Morgan called that new policy a “game-changer.”
And the more recent numbers might even be lower than what’s reported due to a newer administration order, initiated to stop the spread of coronavirus.
Instead of detaining migrants in America, many are stopped at the border and sent back immediately, spending minimal time in detention here in the United States.
That saves time, resources, and money. It limits the need to put detainees into facilities where the virus can spread, potentially saving lives as well.
But it also means that many of the people turned back may quickly try to cross again.
The Wall Street Journal said that a third of all migrants attempting to cross illegally have done so multiple times – meaning the official tally could include the same person, several times over.
One new report says Vice President Mike Pence led the aforementioned effort, over the objections of the CDC on the issue at the time. While the move has led to lawsuits from immigration attorneys, that one change in policy alone turned back at least 150,000 people.
And along with better enforcement of border crossings, CBP says their agents have seized more than 830,000 pounds of drugs and disrupted more than 280 “stash houses” used by criminal organizations for human smuggling as well as sex and drug trafficking.
What’s more, Trump said this summer that they’re getting help from an unexpected place: Mexico itself.
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“We’ve been helped greatly by Mexico on creating record numbers in a positive sense on our southern border,” he said over the summer. “It’s been really very, very tight.”
There’s also another reason… the border wall itself of course.
Border officials said 360 miles of border barriers have been built so far, and that’s expected to grow to 450 miles by the end of the year.
Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Chad Wolf tweeted:
We are building the wall and securing our Southern Border. https://t.co/xbcpvXNtN8
— Acting Secretary Chad Wolf (@DHS_Wolf) October 13, 2020
However, while the overall numbers are down, Morgan said they’ve been steadily rising again over the past five months – and will continue to climb as the pandemic causes more people in South and Central America to migrate north in search of work.
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“As economic conditions are worsening in Mexico and the entire Western Hemisphere due to COVID, get ready,” Morgan told reporters, saying the numbers are already starting to rise.
“This makes it even more critical that we understand how important border security is,” he concluded.
— Walter W. Murray is a reporter for The Horn News. He is an outspoken conservative and a survival expert, and is the author of “America’s Final Warning.”