Border Crossing Arrests Reach Lowest Point Since 2000

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Arrests at the United States’ southern Border have reached their lowest point in 17 years, according to Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly. Fewer than 17,000 illegal aliens were caught attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border last month, compared to more than 58,000 in December, 2016, and 48,150 in March of last year. Contributing to this improvement is a steep decline of Unaccompanied Alien Minors (UAMs) attempting to enter the country. Fewer than 1,000 UAMs were apprehended, compared to 4,209 in March of 2016.

The presumed drop in attempted illegal crossings is “no mistake,” according to Secretary Kelly. In a written testimony submitted to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, he lauded “successful efforts” by border agents and “the support of our leadership in the White House” as primary factors.

Ever since announcing his candidacy, President Trump has spoken strongly in favor of enforcing existing immigration laws. This rhetoric appears to be giving potential illegal aliens second thoughts about trying to enter the United States – at least until they see what policies the administration ends up implementing and/or enforcing.

These results make sense. If a person is told that they are not welcome to illegally enter a particular location, they are far less likely to even try. The astounding decline in illegal entries appears to be proving that the message the Trump administration is sending to would-be illegal immigrants is having the desired effect.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise, either, because history tells the same story. As noted by the Federation of American Immigration Reform in the past, a combination of rhetoric and action – even though many believe it was far from enough – helped former President Bill Clinton significantly boost “voluntary removals” and curb attempted crossings by would-be illegal immigrants.

Removing the incentives for illegal aliens to violate our laws is the cheapest, most effective, and most humane means of reducing illegal immigration. This approach starts with changing the narrative and ending the distribution of benefits currently available to illegal aliens. As is being witnessed, fewer unauthorized migrants will attempt to enter the United States when the river of incentives starts to dry up.

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About Author

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Spencer joined the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in 2015. He conducts research, and writes content for FAIR’s publications and website. He brings previous experience in state politics, gubernatorial and district campaigns, and D.C. political non-profits. Spencer holds a B.A. in Government from the University of Texas at Austin.

12 Comments

    • avatar

      First of all the theory that more are returning than coming here is based on a study by Pew Research and they based much of that on figures supplied by Mexico. As I said below they have every reason to downplay the situation because they don’t want more border security. And a lot are not Mexican. but from Central American countries.

      • avatar

        According to who you!!>?? really…you just told me you do not know….you are the one being played by the Pew Research. I have seen it myself between NY and Chicago…..well before Obama leaving office……

        IT is actually very easy the way you think and build you opinions in none existent facts…

        • avatar

          Amusing. How can I be the one who’s being “played” by a study I said I don’t trust. Check a dictionary for the meaning of that word.

          • avatar

            Simple Leland …. you trust what you read…did you make sure that study is legit and the numbers are not altered? you are a trusting guy…. what can I say!!

        • avatar

          Interesting … so you agree it was a mistake the way it was handled …. fyi Obama belongs to nobody .. “your” shows your limited intellect to a man that is more intellectual &, smarter & wealthier than you:Obama and most likely of better stock….

  1. avatar

    An April 5 Associated Press story by Mark Stevenson noted the arrest of Ivan Reyes Arzate, a top Mexican drug enforcement official who was the chief contact between US and Mexican law enforcement. He is accused of passing info from our DEA to a Mexican cartel. Just over a week ago Edgar A. Veytia, the former attorney general of the Mexican state of Nayarit, was arrested on the border and charged with drug smuggling. The article says: “It raised questions about how Mexican authorities could possibly have missed such longstanding outrageous corruption”.

    There really are no questions. It’s been obvious for years that the Mexican government is run by the cartels and the few journalists and politicians who dare to oppose them don’t live long. An analyst is quoted in the story saying “There seems to be a pattern here.” It’s fine to talk about e-verify and it’s absolutely essential we have it. But drug gangs don’t care about jobs. Their job is smuggling drugs into this country and it’s causing a huge heroin crisis all over this country. That’s why we need a wall or fence.

    And basically all the claims about more Mexicans leaving this country than coming in are based on the very suspect source of the Mexican government, whose interest is to promote that idea and give the impression we don’t need more border security. Those unverified figures are the product of census figures supplied by that country of people who have supposedly moved back there after living here. They have every incentive to pad those numbers.