Denying there is a border crisis is the surest path to a completely unsecured border



In his letter this week to Defense Secretary James Mattis and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen accepting federal dollars to deploy up to 400 National Guard troops to the border, California Gov. Jerry Brown could not resist a snarky addendum.

He’d take the money, but insisted that “there is no massive wave of migrants pouring into California,” he said, adding that overall immigrant apprehensions “were as low as they’ve been in nearly 50 years.”

A group of Democratic House members made the similar (and familiar) argument in another letter to Mattis and Nielsen.

“We require a clearer explanation of the impetus for this approach at a time when border crossings are at a 40-year low,” demanded the lawmakers in their April 11 letter.

The “there is no crisis” mantra is a convenient, yet grossly inaccurate and misleading talking point of those who feign commitment to border security without committing to implementing the policies to achieve secure borders.

Are these the border crisis deniers wrong about an actual decline in the number of border apprehensions in California and nationwide? Yes.

According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the number of apprehensions along at the border and other ports of entry declined after October 2016 when 66,712 illegal immigrants were stopped from entering the U.S. That decline continued after President Trump was elected, but then it began to increase in May 2017. Between May and December 2017, the number rose from 19,940 to 40,511.

And the numbers are continuing to increase. According to data released this week, the Border Patrol apprehended 37,393 individuals in March – a 203 percent increase over March 2017, and a 37 percent increase from February (26,663).

The 2014 crisis of thousands of Central Americans flooding our borders occurred precisely because the Obama administration failed to act with urgency and immediacy – which is the exact reason why the Trump administration wants to send National Guard troops to free up border agents to address the crisis.

Numbers do not tell the full story that the Border Patrol lives every day. Along with a renewed surge of economic migrants entering illegally, there has been an uptick criminal activity along the border:

  • Colonel Steven McCraw, director of Texas Department of Public Safety, told a House committee on April 12 that his state troopers have seized in the last few months an amount of fentanyl that is equivalent to nearly 12 million lethal doses;
  • On April 6, CPB arrested several individuals with more than $3.1 million of narcotics;
  • An MS-13 gang member was found hiding among Central Americans claiming asylum;
  • A mother and her five kids were caught trying to smuggle 231 pound of drugs into the U.S. on April;
  • And, a CPB agent rescued two illegal immigrants abandoned by a smuggler.

About Author

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Jennifer joined FAIR as Web Content Writer in 2017 and brings to the role extensive communications and media background. She began her career as a policy research analyst on multiple national and state political campaigns before entering journalism. In addition to spending over a decade writing for several broadcast and print news outlets, Jennifer directed communications strategy for a member of Congress and a military nonprofit.

3 Comments

  1. avatar
    J. R. Alexander on

    Little has been said about the State of New Mexico and its sanctuary policies. While not public knowledge, a number of cities – Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Farmington, Roswell, Deming, etc. – are in fact sanctuary cities with high crime rates. Having lived in NM off and on since the 1990’s, I have seen Illegal Aliens in the stores in Deming; a small town just 35 miles North of a poorly guarded border with Mexico. It is easy to walk across the border – I have done it.

    The word “Illegal” should still mean something to our elected representatives other than more Democratic Party voters to be forgotten the day after each election.

  2. avatar

    Honestly why not stop all illegals from coming across the border? How many get past the border patrol and in many cases more then once? It’s all a lie designed to keep the flow of cheap wage labor coming in for business.

  3. avatar

    Well yes, they are wrong. But more than that, they’re outright lying because the figures are available to anyone who cares to make the slightest effort to obtain them. These people are just dishonest con artists, unable to win by the merits of an issue.

    The reason crossings dropped in October 2016 and then “began to increase in May 2017” is that fewer wanted to come during that period if they thought they would be automatically returned under Trump. But then it became clear that activist judges, it only takes one nationwide, were going to tie up Trump’s enforcement policies in the court system for years.

    Brown is the typical double dealing faker. He makes some token deployment, because he knows if he doesn’t he will get labelled as supporting open borders. {Which he actually does, he told all Mexicans they were “welcome” to come to California, legal or not.} But he also put restrictions on the troops he is sending to the point where they cannot actually even assist in any enforcement procedures.

    The dishonesty of the left is staggering. Accuse them of supporting open borders and they will reply righteously that we have the right to enforce our borders and deport those here illegally. But they really only talk a good game. But ask them for their solutions and it’s always pass the umpteenth amnesty, stop all deportations in the name of family unity, and no border wall or fence. In other words, all the things guaranteed to exacerbate the problem. Con artists, all of them.

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