A new report shows that the number of illegal immigrants caught crossing the border has dropped by a stunning 93 percent since December.
According to new numbers provided by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), approximately 16,000 people were apprehended illegally crossing the border in December, but only a little more than 1,100 were caught in March.
DHS is crediting President Donald Trump’s harsher immigration policies as the primary cause of the significant slow-down in illegal crossings. However, Reuters points to the “threat of new policies” that may be implemented in the future as the main factor for the decline in illegal border crossings; mainly the possibility that mothers could be separated from their children:
For months, Central Americans had heard about Trump’s get-tough policies. And public service announcements on radio and television presented bleak pictures of what awaited those who traveled north. Some of the ads were funded by the United States, others by United Nations agencies and regional governments.
One radio ad in Honduras featured a mother, saying, “It’s been a year and I don’t know if she is alive or dead. I’d do anything to have her here with me. Curse the day I sent her north.”
As Hot Air‘s Allahpundit explains, illegal immigrant children are required to be immediately released when caught and detained, but mothers are not, based on a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling. This policy difference creates a scenario where mothers can be separated from their children.
It is this threat that the Trump administration is hyping in Central American countries such as Honduras, and it is working brilliantly, as Reuters highlights:
The possibility that mothers and children might be separated at the border caused particular alarm, Honduran Deputy Foreign Minister Maria Andrea Matamoros told Reuters
“That worries any mother that wants to go to the United States with their kid, and being separated drastically changes their plans,” she said.
While these “bleak pictures” are being painted about the new administration’s handling of illegal immigrants, Trump’s DHS has in fact decided to no longer separate mothers from their children after seeing a decline in border apprehensions in February. Though the threats are now hollow, they are clearly having their intended effect of reducing illegal border crossings.
The numbers indicate that the threat of deportation is enough to prevent many people from crossing the border illegally.The words of the president of the United States clearly have consequences on immigrants’ actions; in this case, it has been enough to significantly curtail what had become a flood of illegal immigrants under the dangerously negligent Obama administration.