According to as-yet-unpublished statistics from the Border Patrol, the U.S. is seeing record levels of illegal immigrant parents crossing the border with children. The statistics, obtained by the Washington Post this week, show that in the three months since the Trump administration halted the “family separation” policy at detention centers, there has been an unprecedented surge across the U.S.-Mexico border. Border Patrol agents reportedly arrested 16,658 family members in September, making it the highest one-month total in the history of the country. It represents no less than an 80% increase since the summer, leaving little doubt as to what it driving the surge.
“We’re getting hammered daily,” a Border agent told The Post.
Katie Walkman, a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security, said “the removal of actual family units, or those posing as family units, has been made virtually impossible by Congressional inaction – which will most likely result in record numbers of families arriving in the United States this year.”
According to the Post story, President Trump is furious about what’s happening at the border, and he is considering a re-implementation of the family separation policies that resulted in a wave of bad press this summer. Republicans, unfortunately, are advising against taking that sort of immediate action because they think the policy will hurt them in the midterms.
Far better to sit back and watch as our illegal immigration problem spirals out of control – on the watch of a President who campaigned on a promise to be stronger on this issue than any previous administration!
Not that we can fully lay the blame at President Trump’s feet; he has been hamstrung by a Congress that is utterly unwilling to pass the legislation necessary to effect real change. The family separation, zero-tolerance policy was working, but the public outcry (largely manufactured by the media) and the questionable legality of keeping children detained forced the administration to stop.
Reportedly, Trump is looking at giving migrant parents a choice of whether to stay together in detention or release their children to live with families in the U.S., which may pave the road to a return to long-term detention.
But at the end of the day, real enforcement can’t be done from the Executive Branch alone. We need the wall. We need better security. We need laws that permit rapid deportation. We need an end to catch-and-release. We need legislators willing to make the tough call. Are there any out there?