Open borders advocates are concerned with President Trump's crackdown on illegal immigration. But the fact is, the U.S. government doesn't even have to lift a finger to drastically reduce the flow of illegals across our border.
Nothing is more illustrative of this point than the decision by tens of thousands of Haitians who are waiting to make the trip north to the U.S. from South America. The change in U.S. policy toward illegals has stopped 97% of them from making the attempt to enter.
Not only had the Obama administration begun deporting Haitians after a six-year humanitarian pause, but President Trump also had just been elected, presaging an even tougher policy.Many of those en route, such as the hundreds staged at migrant camps in Costa Rica and Nicaragua, figured they had gone that far and had little to lose by trying to finish the journey north.But for the tens of thousands of Haitians in Brazil, Chile and elsewhere in South America who had been planning to journey north, the news was devastating. In a matter of weeks, the northward stream of people dried up.It is one of the biggest among a plethora of success stories from the southwestern border, where illegal immigration appears to have nearly dried up in the two months since Mr. Trump took office.Six months ago, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers manning the ports of entry were encountering more than 100 Haitians a day. By March, only weeks into Mr. Trump's tenure, that had dropped to just 100 for the entire month – down a stunning 97 percent.Rep. Duncan Hunter, a California Republican who was one of the first to expose the surge of Haitians last year and has tracked the issue since, said all it took was a commitment of enforcement to stem the flow."The fact that these numbers are not just down, but so significantly reduced, is a direct credit to the Trump administration," said Joe Kasper, Mr. Hunter's chief of staff. "It shows what a message of enforcement first signals to the rest of the world and the extent to which the Obama administration's policies were a problem.""We did everything we could to warn the Obama administration about the seriousness of the problem it created and a solution that centered on strong leadership and good decision-making. They were willfully deaf to it all," Mr. Kasper said. "Now we're seeing a change in approach and results, all of it without passing a single piece of legislation or providing new authorities."The changes go well beyond Haitians.The number of "inadmissible" migrants showing up at U.S. ports of entry and demanding to be let in has dropped from more than 20,000 in October to about 4,400 in March, a cut of nearly 80 percent. And the number of illegal immigrants nabbed while trying to sneak into the U.S. between the ports is down from more than 46,000 in October to a little more than 12,000 last month.
To state the obvious, you don't have to deport people who never cross the border. Of course, the stats won't please open border advocates. They don't believe that the U.S. should enforce its sovereignty under any circumstances – even though the other 188 countries in the world with strict border controls see it differently from how they do.
For all the agitation on both sides of the immigration debate, it is the powerful psychological effect of making it clear that the U.S. government has changed its policies and that there is close to zero tolerance for those who break the law in seeking a new life in America.
If you want to come, get in line, fill out the paperwork, and wait your turn. That's a message we should have been sending for the last 30 years or more.