The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released the Southwest Border Migration numbers for April, which reflect a 230 percent increase over the same month last year. That makes April the worst period since President Trump took office. The numbers induced DHS to issue a statement saying it will show “zero tolerance” for adults seeking to cross the border.
The statement said, "The recently released April 2018 Southwest Border Migration numbers underscore the continuing security crisis along our southwest border...For the second month in a row, we have seen more than 50,000 individuals try to illegally enter the United States. If you enter our country illegally, you have broken the law and will be referred for prosecution. DHS has zero tolerance for those who break the law and will no longer exempt classes or groups of individuals from prosecution. Whether you are a single adult or an adult member of a family unit, if you are apprehended you will be prosecuted and put in removal proceedings.”
In April 2017, Border Patrol agents caught 11,1129 illegal aliens, and 4,646 others presented themselves at ports of entry without permission. Last month 38,234 illegal aliens were picked up and 12,690 more appeared at ports of entry. Unaccompanied Alien Children (UACs) or families comprised over one-third of those captured and over 50 percent of those entering ports of entry.
National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd blamed the increase on the de facto “catch-and-release” policy that still exists. “The reason is obvious: If you can cross the border illegally without any consequence, why not? As long as the catch-and-release policy-program exists, large numbers of people are going to cross the border illegally,” he said. “In 2017 and due to the rhetoric we had fewer apprehensions than any year in the past 45 years. It was simply because people believed that if they crossed the border illegally they would be held until their deportation hearing…[But when that didn’t happen] smugglers quickly realized everything was status quo, and they’re once again recruiting people to enter our country illegally.”
Although the Administration no longer automatically releases certain classes of illegal aliens, the lack of detention bed space and court requirements results in a de facto catch-and-release policy that frees about 75 percent of those caught. When combined with the number of people who evade detection – 50-60 percent according to agents – “the numbers become staggering,” Judd said.
Read more in The Washington Times.
Updated: Fri, May 18th 2018 @ 2:00pm EDT