The Trump Effect: US Southern Border Quiet, Peaceful, Steep Drop in Arrests
Fewer than 12,500 people were caught at the southern border in March, the lowest monthly figure in at least 17 yrs and the 2nd month running that border arrests dropped sharply.
Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, in testimony submitted to a Senate committee, called the decline “no accident” and credited President Trump. The White House issued a statement Wednesday saying President Trump’s “commitment to securing our border and supporting law enforcement is already showing results.”
President Trump’s vows to step up deportations and build his signature border wall were widely spread in Central America, according to three migrants who recently arrived in Texas. Secretary Kelly also announced last month that authorities might start separating adults and children crossing the border, to deter families from trying to enter the US
For years, tens of thousands of migrants every month would cross the United States’ southern border. Traffic has surged in recent years of people crossing into Texas from 3 Central American countries torn by gang violence and poverty: El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.
Former President Barack Hussein Obama’s administration publicized deportations and tried to dissuade Central Americans from heading North, particularly during the Y 2014 surge of families and children traveling alone to cross the border. Obama’s officials took credit when border arrests fell during his tenure, only to see the numbers rise again.
Some think the “Trump Effect” was pushing fearful people to move up their journeys and get to the US before he took office. Border arrests in October, November and December increased by about a 3rd compared to the same frame in Y 2015, before falling this year.
President Trump focused on the constant flow of migrants from the start of his campaign, when he denounced border crossers as criminals and rapists, and repeatedly promised to build a wall and step up deportations. His administration has started taking bids to build a wall and requested funding for more immigration judges and Border Patrol agents.
Most agree Trump’s statements affected migrant traffic.
Traffickers that operate in cartel-dominated parts of Mexico, known as “coyotes,” were rumored to use the American election as a marketing tool.
Rumors spread that if Democrat Hillary Clinton won, would-be migrants were told to make it to the US ahead of the election to get a free pass to stay in the country. And if Donald Trump won, they should rush North before he could build a border wall.
Higher demand allowed the smugglers to charge more to get to the US last year.
Experts say they want to see if migrant numbers stay low during the Summer months, when migration generally rises.