When the new broom sweeps clean you just never know what it will turn up. In the case of illegal immigration, we’ve learned that simply having a new boss in charge with some serious immigration enforcement policies can influence the decisions being made by illegal aliens thinking of trying to enter the United States. The Washington Examiner reports that one leader of the Border Patrol is sounding pretty much over the moon at this point, describing the decline in illegal border jumpers as a miracle.
The significant downturn in the number of illegal border crossers between the U.S. and Mexico is “nothing short of miraculous,” National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd said on C-SPAN Monday.
“As far as the Trump administration’s efforts on immigration, this is something they campaigned heavily on,” he said. “At six months, where we are on meeting those promises, we are seeing nothing short of miraculous. If you look at the rhetoric that President Trump has given, it has caused a number of illegal border crossings to go down. We have never seen such a drop that we currently have.”
“There’s a vibe, there’s an energy in the Border Patrol that’s never been there before in 20 years that I’ve been in the patrol,” Judd added in a separate Fox News interview.
How big has the drop been? The number of reported crossings was already down in the spring but the Border Patrol estimates that it’s now been cut nearly in half, registering only 53% as many crossings as in the same period last year. And here’s one thing to keep in mind while you ponder that number…
We’ve reduced it that much before a single foot of new wall has been installed.
Trump’s detractors will argue that this means we don’t need to build the wall, right? Wrong. What’s keeping the numbers down right now is, almost without a doubt, the fact that the word is out on the street that enforcement has gotten serious. But Trump isn’t going to be here forever and policies can change with the swearing in of a new administration. If we have another Democrat in office who goes back to the warm and fuzzy approach, there will be no reason for interested illegal aliens to fear gearing up the old coyote lines again. But that problem can be at least partially mitigated in the future with a better barrier across the border and improved methods of monitoring which should remain in place.
This goes back to something we were discussing all through the GOP primary and the general election last year. Too many politicians looked at the number of illegal aliens already in this country, the volume coming in every year and the size of the border and simply shook their heads. But this problem is not insurmountable. It’s never been insurmountable. We just needed to get serious about it and not take our eyes off the ball once we started making some progress.
If nothing else, these figures will make it very difficult for the next round of candidates to say that nothing can be done. We’re already doing it. And whoever eventually replaces Trump needs to pledge in advance to keep up the effort.