More indications that the election of Donald Trump as President, with his tough stand against illegal immigration, is having an effect along the Texas Mexico border, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
New figures obtained by 1200 WOAI's Michael Board show that apprehensions along the entire U.S. Mexico border are down 53% from one year ago.
Chris Cabrera of the Border Patrol Union in Texas, says that is a strong indication that the policies the President has implemented by executive order, like ending the so called 'catch and release' policy, are working."
President Trump ran on 'catch and release' being ended, and when he took over he announced that 'catch and release' had been ended, which is a great thing," Cabrera said.
'Catch and release' was a name for the previous Border Patrol policy of simply stopping people who were entering the U.S. illegally and releasing them 'on their promise to appear' at a later date for an immigration hearing. Not surprisingly, few of them appeared in court.
"Saying it is ending is a very good thing, but what needed to happen is actually doing it, and now people are starting to figure it out," Cabrera said.
He says the message has gotten to the immigrant smugglers in Mexico who are responsible for an increasing number of people attempting to cross illegally into the U.S., especially as the face of illegal immigration has shifted in recent years away from mainly Mexican nationals to Central Americans, Asians, and people from the Middle East and Africa, who don't have familiarity with the language, the lay of the land, and even hot to make it to the U.S. border, let alone across it.
Cabrera says the Border Patrol wants to stop illegal immigrants, not just shake their hands and let them go.
"What sets us apart from every other union that you will ever see is we are asking for work, we are begging for work," he said. "We want to go out there and do our job."T
he figures confirm anectodal evidence that people who were considering trying to enter the U.S. illegally are not even making the attempt today, due to the greater likelihood that they will be arrested and sent back home, and they will lose the money they have given to the smugglers, frequently amounting to more than the average annual salary in a place like El Salvador or Somalia, to get them into the U.S.
The numbers also confirm the arguments made by Rio Grande Valley residents that an expensive 'border wall' is not necessary, that there are better, more efficient ways to detering illegal immigration, and the most effective of all is to make sure would be immigrants get the message that is is now harder to get into the USA.