Thursday, March 09, 2017

Experts say Trump's immigration policy is why illegal border crossings were down in February

The number of undocumented immigrants caught in February trying to enter the U.S. from Mexico dropped significantly, suggesting that President Trump's tough immigration stance may already be having a positive impact on illegal border crossings, Nicholas Kulish and Fernanda Santos report for The New York Times.

Data from Customs and Border Protection shows that about 840 people were stopped per day in February, down 39 percent from January and 36 percent from February 2016, reports the Times. Typically the number of apprehensions increases in February as the temperature in the Southwestern U.S. begins to rise.

"The flow of people across the southern border has long depended on many factors, including the economy and violence in their home countries, and even the weather," reports the Times. "But chief among them is America’s own immigration policy, and experts said they were not surprised to see a slowdown even before Trump’s executive orders on immigration have taken full effect or his signature wall has been built." Faye Hipsman, a policy analyst at the Migration Policy Institute, told the Times, “Deterrence through perception is central to these executive orders. Even floating the possibility of expanding detention at the border makes somebody less likely to come.”

Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, a Washington-based group that favors more limits on immigration, "said all signs pointed to a decline in migration similar to that seen after the Reagan administration’s sweeping immigration reform law of 1986," reports the Times.

Krikorian told the Times, “The talk of tougher enforcement can, in fact, lead to reductions in the flow, but only for a short period of time if the words aren’t backed up with action." He said during the Reagan years “the promises of tougher enforcement didn’t exactly pan out.”

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