No, that headline doesn’t mean that the federal government is getting better at tracking, stopping, and arresting people who surge over the border. Although the new Homeland Security numbers show that border patrol agents arrested some 80,000 more illegal immigrants in fiscal year 2016, it likely indicates a considerable increase in the number of attempts. So for the 409,000 illegals that they nabbed this year…how many got away?
Indeed, the other numbers bear this pattern out. This year, we saw record numbers of immigrant families coming together – a total of 77,674. This was accompanied by another surge in unaccompanied minors – some 60,000 came across the border and were apprehended this year.
“Unaccompanied children and families have presented new challenges in our immigration system,” Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said.
In the fiscal year 2015, it looked as though the Obama administration had gotten the worst of the surge under control. Numbers dropped, the 2014 influx trickled to a stop, and arrests fell to their lowest point in 30 years.
But those changes evidently did not last. This may be partly because Obama, being attacked from both the left and the right, finally had to make his choice and live with it. With his amnesty actions, he infuriated conservatives. With his deportations, he earned scorn from Mexican activists and hard-lefters in the party.
He chose to side with the liberals, and did away with his “Mr. Deportations” moniker. With every subsequent year of his second term, the U.S. has deported fewer and fewer illegal immigrants. Now, as he prepares to hand his legacy off to Hillary Clinton, it’s worth noting that she’s on the record as wanting to double down on this trend. At a debate in the primaries, she all-but-admitted that deportations would be coming to an end under her administration. We’ll be lucky if she even bothers with the criminals.
But for anyone thinking along these lines, Secretary Johnson had a message:
“Walls alone cannot prevent illegal migration.”
No, they probably can’t. But what about a wall and some more border patrol agents? How about an end to incentives that are drawing illegal immigrants to our country in droves? How about some common-sense policies that put Americans first?
How about you and Obama and Hillary stop pretending like you want to stop illegal immigration in the first place?
Ah well, too much to ask, probably.