Illegal Border Crossings Are NOT At Historic Lows



Illegal border crossings are at historic lows.

That is a statistic cited so often that it almost has become part of the common vernacular. The sun sets. The only certainties are death and taxes. And illegal border crossings are at historic lows.

It was an argument used last month in a statement issued by 58 former national security officials in response to President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency along the border. Because crossings are low, they asserted a factual basis for the declaration does not exist.

The problem for them and for the nation is that a basis does exist.

In a March 4 briefing, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB) officials reported that a total of 76,325 apprehensions were made in February. That figure constitutes a 31 percent increase over January, and included 40,325 family units and 7,249 unaccompanied minors.

And both the January and February statistics mark the highest number of illegal border crossings in decades.

“One of misconceptions is that illegal border crossings are at the lowest level in decades. That simply is not true,” says Washington Post reporter Nick Miroff in a new podcast.

Miroff, who traveled to the southern border to talk with border officials, added that agents are fearful that if historic summer surges occur, there could be as many as 100,000 apprehensions per month.

If you (again) listen to the pro-amnesty advocates, they claim the surges are a consequence of rising violence and turmoil in Central America, primarily Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.

Best not to listen. As the Center for Immigration Studies’ Matthew Sussis notes, in both Honduras and Guatemala, the murder rate has decreased while the number of migrants has increased.

So, why are the migrants continuing to come if violence is not worsening?

Miroff suggests the precipitating event for the recent surge was the backlash over the Trump administration’s so-called zero tolerance policy. He says the controversy and manufactured hysteria created by the detention of children forced the administration to back away from the policy.

In turn, smuggling networks in Central America were able to seize upon the policy change to broadcast a message to potential migrants that they would not be detained, particularly if a child was brought to the border with an adult.

“It became a golden smugglers’ pitch that they have used to recruit clients [by]telling parents and migrants they will not detained,” Miroff said.

In addition, smugglers have been able to use the controversy to lower their risk since migrants now are encouraged to surrender to border agents and start the asylum process. The “administrative path” into the U.S. which has “become the single biggest trend” at the border, he added.

There is a crisis at the border but activists and amnesty proponents are too busy living in the past (and past statistics) to see the future crisis just around the corner.

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.

10 Comments

  1. avatar
    Daniel CondonI wonder why, but that’s a fact and that’s why I live with three illegal immigrants on

    Forgot to mention as a significantly disabled person using a wheelchair I am an able to secure critical housing needs such as section 8 housing voucher because there’s no funding for people with disabilities.
    I wonder why, but that’s a fact and that’s why I live with three illegal immigrants

  2. avatar
    Stephen Russell on

    Caravans are being paid to enter US, Democrats & illegal alien groups OK this.
    Why then do we hear of caravan forming X at country X??
    Pre Planned.

  3. avatar

    Trump Fabricated the Recent Feb 2019 300% SURGE of Illegal Alien Family Units Penetrating the Mexican Border?

    Ask the DHS and Border Patrol….that’s the legal data on decision making, not MSM.

  4. avatar
    Timothy Bryant Williams on

    Solid policy and ramifications for actions would go far 2 solve the problem-hold mexico guatemala and other latin nations accountable 2 stop this madness-theyALL get aid fm US

  5. avatar

    The Dem’s are rolling out the Red [fitting, isn’t it?] Carpet for illegals. “Caravans” consisting of ten thousand or more border crashers are organizing. Sounds like a “crisis” to me, but then what do I know; I’ m just a US citizen and taxpayer who’s being ordered to carry this hu man tidal wave on my back.

  6. avatar
    Dave Mittner on

    Is this article a joke?

    First of all, even if they’re not at historic lows right this moment, they’re still near 40-year lows. There’s been a gradual increase over the last year or two but illegal border crossings are still a much lower concern today than they were during — say — the 90’s, and still at the very low end of the scale.

    Second, your counter to the statistics presented is that some people FEAR that crossings “COULD be as many as 100,000 apprehensions per month” IF summer surges occur. That’s two conditionals and some peoples’ emotion, based on a potential future event, that you’re using to try to counter ACTUAL, REAL statistics. It says something about the viewership here if that kind of shoddy reasoning is accepted.

    Lastly, you point out that “migrants now are encouraged to surrender to border agents and start the asylum process” and conclude that that makes it a “crisis at the border”. Last I checked, that act is completely legal. So you have people now obeying the law more than they did in the past, but NOW it rises to the level of crisis? If they’re entering legally I’d say that’s an improvement over entering illegally. Not a “crisis”.

    • avatar

      It’s a crisis any way you want to define it. It’s recent court decisions by liberal judges that have hobbled immigration enforcement and encouraged what is going on now. Why is it so unreasonable to assume that 100,000 a month in the summer will happen. It’s when more crossings increase. If there were 76,000 in the winter month of February, it’s you using “shoddy reasoning” to think 100,000 won’t occur.

      Do the math, if you can. It is highly likely that there will be over a million crossings this year because they are increasing monthly. As far as coming “legally” they will be given a court date years down the road which the big majority will not even show up for and nothing will happen to them if they don’t. We incentivize coming here without permission. As for the “90s” most of them were single young men who were promptly put back across the border. Now children are used as a lottery ticket to enter the country. It’s your post that’s a joke.

    • avatar
      Geoge Tyrebyter on

      Illegals either come over the border or pretend to seek asylum. In either case, they are illegals. If they come to pretend to seek asylum, they get a special advantage – the US will give them a bus ticket and house them in a secure facility. So they come and pretend to seek asylum. However, it’s very clear that they are all economic migrants. Stupid moron libruls are fooled, but I’m not.

    • avatar

      Research @ numbersusa.com
      fairus.org
      iillegalaliencrimereport.com
      fncic-voiacm.org

      Millions coming illegally this on top of legalizing over 1M each & every year. Visa workers for every kind of job. Disney fired all their IT workers & made them train Indians or they wouldn’t get a severance pkg. Others do this too.

      Many teens can’t get hired for summer jobs because of visa workers. Muslim owned yogurt factory only uses Muslims workers and gets by with it. We have laws about this.

      Democrats no longer help U.S. citizens,. They help foreign workers because that’s how CEO’S want it.

      You tube has a video of a lawyer speaking to business owners telling them how to act like the are hiring Americans but only hire Visas workers so they can pay lower wages.

      It’s a scandal what politicians are doing to citizens & our kid’s future!

    • avatar
      Daniel Condon on

      I don’t k ow where you live , but there are over 40 million illegals in the USA. Costing the US tax payers more that 49 billion dollars in just 2.5 months according to MIT and Yale
      Come see it for yourself sherry in Southern California illegal immigrants is nothing new.
      I’ve seen and live with them for the past 50 years. As a matter of fact I live with 3 illegals in a small 2 bedroom apartment they all work under the table have nice work trucks all tools of the trade send money back to there home land and have business started there.
      While there wife’s live in a house with 3 and four kids Collecting welfare living large on the taxpayer. They been working our government programs for years.
      Wake up America!!!!
      It just might be too late ?

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