From the RCP Issues & Insights website, editorial board. “Trump Is Quietly Winning Big at the Border,” and it’s true. I don’t know if you’ve noticed with so many other things going on, but have you seen there aren’t any caravans?
Last week, 18 people crossed the border illegally into Arizona hoping they could exploit a loophole in U.S. asylum policy to stay in the country. Instead, they found themselves shipped back to Mexico while their asylum claims are reviewed.
In the midst of impeachment mania and the killing of an Iranian general, this event captured little attention. But it’s part of a broader campaign that the Trump administration has quietly embarked upon to crack down on illegal border crossings. And – even without the wall – these policies are having a huge impact.
The 18 migrants were sent back to Mexico thanks to a policy President Donald Trump implemented that goes by the official name of “Migrant Protection Protocols” (MPP), but more colloquially known as “Remain in Mexico.” First adopted a year ago, the administration has been working with Mexico to steadily expand it. The Nogales port of entry south of Tucson, Arizona, where the 18 were sent, is the site seventh to be included.
The impact of this program has been little short of profound.
The number of apprehensions at the southwest border plummeted from 144,000 in May 2019 to just 42,649 in November – the last month for which the government has data. The number of families caught crossing illegally went from 84,486 in May to a mere 9,000 in November.
As the El Paso Times put it, “the policy has proved to be a virtual wall.”
Indeed, before Remain in Mexico went into effect in Arizona, illegals had been flooding there because it was one of the last areas they could cross and hope to gain easy entry into the U.S.
“As news spread that migrants crossing the Arizona border weren’t being sent back to Mexico,” the Wall Street Journal said, “the Tucson border sector became the second-busiest crossing point in recent months.
“Border crossings plummeted in most other areas of the border over the same period.”
Trump has been busy implementing other policies that have strengthened the virtual border wall.
Last July, the administration issued a rule denying asylum to anyone who crossed another country before getting to the U.S. border if they didn’t seek asylum in that country first. This policy directly attacks the migrant caravans traversing Mexico. The administration has also struck deals with Central American countries that let the U.S. return asylum seekers to Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.
The administration has tightened up what counts as a “credible fear” claim for asylum seekers. At one detention facility, the number passing the credible fear claim plunged from 97% to just 10%.
Trump’s threat to impose stiff tariffs on Mexico unless it got serious about border control also made a huge difference, with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador suddenly sending troops to detain migrants.
Then there’s the fact that the Trump administration has gotten more aggressive when it comes to arrests and deportations of those in the country illegally.
A Government Accountability Office report released in December found that arrests climbed 34% from 2015 to 2018, detentions went up 35%, and removals rose 13%.
And who’s benefiting as a result of the administration’s tougher asylum policies and enforcement actions?
It’s been Americans who’ve gained work filling jobs that would have been taken by illegals.
Trump has been remarkably restrained about these victories. Perhaps that’s because he thinks the successes he’s having on illegal border crossings will dampen support for a border wall.
But make no mistake, the wall is an imperative, because while a Democratic president can – and would – reverse Trump’s immigration policies, he or she wouldn’t dare tear down a wall that’s already been built.
Mexico was gonna pay for the wall. But there was gonna be a wall. Well, there isn’t a wall, and yet there may as well be one. There may as well be a virtual wall because something is preventing massive illegal immigration. It has really dipped. So the Democrats blocked Trump from doing the wall. He finds a work-around that’s probably more effective and costs less, and it’s called enforcing the law.
The one thing people do not understand about those of us who oppose illegal immigration is that it has nothing to do with race, it has nothing to do with skin color, it has nothing to do with economics, nothing whatsoever to do with any of that. It has to do with two things, maybe three. One, the rule of law. It’s simply illegal.
Well, the second thing is the damage to the culture. There is no assimilation on the part of most people coming into the country illegally. As such, it represents an assault on a distinct and unique American culture, which is fundamentally responsible for America’s status in the world and the greatness of the American experiment, the American standard of living, American lifestyles.
Preserving this distinct American culture, there’s nothing racist about it, there’s nothing bigoted about it, it’s based on love. And, of course, the third thing is, the Democrats see this as a massive voter registration drive. And that’s another reason why we oppose it. It has nothing to do with the left’s usual assaults. “You just don’t like brown skin people. You just don’t like people that don’t speak English.”
It has nothing to do with any of that. That’s not why illegal immigration is opposed. It’s again the law, number one. The rule of law counts for something. If we’re not gonna enforce that law, then what other laws are we not gonna enforce down the road? Anyway, it is a big story, details of which will come up, but Trump is quietly winning big at the border, and I’ll tell you something else is health care.
You know how health care has revitalized this country, not just in terms of health care, but the way the administration is dealing with the health care industry as a job creator. You realize that health care companies, many of them are causing revitalizations of American urban areas? And it’s a big secret. Nobody much talking about it.
But it’s a big deal. And a lot of this stuff is going on under the radar because impeachment and the coup and other things are occupying everybody’s attention. While all that’s going on, the Trump administration is busy accomplishing serious things.
This story originally appeared in Premiere Networks