Apprehensions and arrests of immigrants attempting to cross the United States’ southern border illegally were down again in October, and arrests have plummeted a whopping 75% since the Trump Administration took action on illegal immigration back in May.
The Wall Street Journal reports that only 36,000 illegal immigrants were arrested in October, a 10% drop from the number of apprehensions in September, and a 75% drop from the 132,856 illegal immigrants arrested in May.
But that doesn’t mean 2019 wasn’t a record year for illegal migration.
“Overall, more than 850,000 migrants were apprehended at the border in 2019, a 12-year high for the year ended in September, driven by a rise in families fleeing violence and poverty in Central America to seek asylum protections in the U.S.,” the WSJ says.
October, though, was the fifth straight month of decline, and even the left-leaning Vox was forced to admit that President Donald Trump’s anti-illegal immigration efforts appear to be “having their intended effect.” Fewer individuals are seeking asylum at the southern border, and many asylum-seekers — particularly those who snaked their way to the United States’ southern border through Mexico from places like Honduras and Guatemala, are choosing to return to their home countries.
“The decline in border apprehensions, which have decreased by about 75 percent since their height of 132,856 in May, and 10 percent in the last month alone, appears to be due to more than typical seasonal fluctuations and suggests that President Donald Trump’s immigration policies are having their intended effect,” Vox wrote Tuesday.
Oddly enough, the drop may have little to do with President Trump’s signature anti-immigration measure, a border wall. Only a handful of sections have been raised since the President demanded billions for the structure in the 2018 Federal budget, and at least one of those sections — a prototype wall in California — was up only a few short hours before smugglers cut the steel slats and bent a hole, allowing for easy entry into the United States.
Instead, the drop may have to do more with Trump’s anti-immigration policies, including a pair of controversial measures — the “Remain in Mexico” policy, and a pressure campaign on Mexican and Central American governments — designed to cut down on the number of asylum seekers presenting themselves to American border officials.
Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy requires that asylum seekers who, under previous administrations, might have been allowed to stay in the United States pending adjudication of their asylum claims, are now being turned back into Mexico to await asylum hearings on the other side of the border. The result? Many Central American asylum seekers are either taking Mexico’s offers of temporary work visas or immigration status, or returning to their home countries.
Around 55,000 migrants have been turned away under the “Remain in Mexico” policy.
The Trump Administration has also been putting pressure on the Mexican government to step up their own border control and to ramp up efforts to capture and deport illegal immigrants in Mexico before they reach the United States. ” [A]fter Trump threatened to impose tariffs on all Mexican goods in June, the Mexican government deployed a record 15,000 troops to detain over 31,000 migrants that month and almost 19,000 in July,” Vox reported.
The decrease is also clearly noticeable in Washington, D.C.; Democrats have stopped using immigration and, in particular, overcrowding at border patrol facilities, as a wedge issue. Instead, most 2020 Democrats have pivoted to abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and declaring a moratorium on deportations to appeal to pro-immigration activists on the far left.