Acting Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection Mark Morgan gave a briefing today about apprehensions at the southern border for August. It clearly demonstrates things are moving in the right direction. There has been a 22% decline in apprehensions since July and a 56% decline from the high of 144,255 seen in May. In six of the past eight years, apprehensions have been higher in August than July.
Acting Commissioner Morgan said:
Thanks to the leadership of President Trump, we are addressing the humanitarian crisis at the southern border. The President is using every tool in the toolbox, from putting pressure on Mexico to enforce their own security and forging international partnerships to addressing pull factors and legal immigration loopholes, the president’s policies are working.”
It has been known for some time that policies such as those required by the Flores settlement which resulted in catch and release were encouraging migration. This pull factor increased the tragedies of human trafficking and encouraged people to bring children on a dangerous journey. It also resulted in children being “recycled” and accompanying multiple adults to the border. Quick DNA tests at one border station confirmed children arriving with adults that were suspect were unrelated 30% of the time.
To prevent the abuse of children and improve conditions at the border, it is clear the changes the President has made through administrative actions need to be made law. Democrats have been immovable on this issue to prevent the President from delivering on a campaign promise. They have also exploited the issues that their own inaction caused.
First they denied a crisis. Then they pushed the concentration camp meme and the photos from the Obama administration. They even tried to block funding in the House to keep the subpar conditions going until their Senate colleagues forced their hand. It has been one of the most dishonest and cynical campaigns in my lifetime.
Acting Commissioner Morgan was clear.:
This decrease in apprehensions and inadmissables is an improvement, and we are grateful to the law makers, citizens, and international partners who have made it possible, but we cannot stop here. We are still in a crisis. Now that Congress is back from summer recess, they must continue the work that has begun and take every necessary step to mitigate this crisis and its impact on our national security.
Year over year, the numbers are certainly no cause for celebration. Year to date apprehensions on the southern border reached 811,016 through the end of August. This is 129% higher than this time last year. But the recent decline is a clear indication that the actions taken by the administration are offsetting the intractability of the Democrats in dealing with the crisis.
Speaker Pelosi and the moderates that make of most of the newfound majority need to find a way to make the new administrative rules law. Or they should pay a very dear price at the ballot box.