One of President Trump’s signature campaign promises was to stem the tide of illegal immigration to this country and “build the wall.”
How’s it going so far? Well, it depends on whom you ask.
Different sources estimate about 100 miles of border wall have been built, but apparently a lot of that simply replaced the old wall. But this week, the White House announced it is on track to build more than 450 miles of a wall along the southern border within the year.
“The project will substantially be done by the end of the year or early next year,” Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, said in an interview with POLITICO. “That was a promise, and it’s important that it’s now being accomplished.”
Meanwhile, even though deportations (or, in legal speak, “removals”) have ticked upwards since Trump has taken office, they are actually lower than the peak under President Obama (which dropped during his second term).
Hundreds of thousands of migrants/refugees/asylum seekers are still making their way to the United States border, overwhelming the resources of Border Patrol and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE.) As a result, they’re simply being released.
The Washington Examiner reports More than 375,000 of the 473,682 immigrants who were caught illegally crossing the southern border with a family member in fiscal 2019 (which ended in September 2019) were released by federal law enforcement into the interior of the United States.
They were just let go. Buh-bye. Good luck.
About 145,000 people were actually released directly from Border Patrol’s custody and never even made it to ICE.
Another 230,000 were transferred to ICE, but were released.
According to ICE, there were two issues that made it difficult to hold families: it lacked the bed space and a 2015 court ruling blocked it from detaining families for more than 20 days.
We simply didn’t have the ability to deal with it.
So the concept of flooding the border in a “migrant caravan” was a clever strategy making the most of safety in numbers.
Clearly, immigration is a multi-pronged issue in this nation. In September of last year, the Trump administration announced it would end the policy of “catch and release.” At the time, then-acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan said “This means that for family units, the largest demographic by volume arriving at the border this year, the court-mandated practice of catch and release, due to the inability of DHS to complete immigration proceedings with families detained together in custody, will have been mitigated. This is a vital step in restoring the rule of law and integrity to our immigration system.”
Speaking of the rule of law, it would help if we didn’t have so many cities and municipalities declaring themselves “sanctuaries.” As of 2018, there were more than 560 cities, states, and counties giving themselves that designation.
As long as we cannot agree on the rule of law, and what constitutes a “citizen,” we’re going to have millions of more people clamoring to get in and claim their piece of American pie.