President Donald Trump signed a proclamation on Wednesday to deploy the National Guard along the border with Mexico.
DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen (see video below) offered three statistics that support the deployment:
Before 2009, 90 percent of illegal immigrants who crossed the border were Mexicans. Today, nearly 50 percent come from Central America.
Before 2011, 90 percent of border crossers were single men. Today, roughly 40 percent are families with children.
Before 2013, one out of every 100 border crossers claimed political persecution in their home countries. Today, that ratio is one out of 10.
These data give a clear indication that smugglers are aware of weaknesses in the U.S. immigration system and are exploiting them, Nielsen said: “Smugglers themselves are gaming the system…pure and simple. They take advantage of the loopholes in our laws. They know that we cannot prosecute as we need to to stop their behavior.”
Nielsen argued that the new action is needed because the “Trump Effect” — a steep decline in border crossings that followed the president’s inauguration — eventually evaporated as smugglers and transnational criminal organizations realized that policy changes did not match the rhetoric.
The demographic changes that have occurred among illegal immigrants is important, Nielsen said, because U.S. law makes it harder to deport non-Mexicans. Under current statutes, U.S. Border Patrol agents who apprehend Mexicans near the international boundary can turn them back to the Mexican government.
But Mexico has no obligation to accept Central Americans. It makes removing them from the United States more difficult, Nielsen said.
The same goes for children caught near the border. Court rulings have barred the federal government from detaining minors long term. That has forced a continuation of the catch-and-release policies implemented during the Obama administration.
Illegal immigrant children arriving at the border from Central America get a free ride at U.S. taxpayer expense to relatives in America. Many disappear before backlogged immigration courts can resolve their cases.
“We have seen the smugglers advertise this as an enticement, and we have seen smugglers, unfortunately, fraudulently use children to gain entry into our country,” Nielsen said.
DHS Secretary expressed that President Trump is ‘frustrated’ with the state of border security: