It appears there is more work to be done to decrease the flow of illegal immigrants into the United States.
The Trump administration’s policies regarding illegal immigration significantly decreased the level of illegal immigration earlier this year. However, The Washington Times recently reported that the flow of undocumented immigrants has now increased to the same levels as they were under the Obama administration.
Under President Trump, law enforcement has been empowered to take a more aggressive approach to preventing illegal immigrants from entering the country and deporting those already residing in the U.S. Most of Immigration, and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) efforts have focused on illegal immigrants who have committed violent felonies and drug offenses.
While the Trump administration’s efforts have been effective, preventing an increase in illegal immigration will require more than what has already been implemented.
Illegal Immigration Is On The Rise Again
According to The Washington Times, the authorities apprehended almost 40,000 illegal immigrants as they attempted to cross the border in November. These arrests represented a 12% increase from October, and more than doubled the amount captured in March and April.
In addition to the increase in detentions, law enforcement has stated that there was a 45% increase in the number of families traveling together. Moreover, they saw a 26% increase in unaccompanied minors attempting to enter the country without their parents.
However, there is good news. Homeland Security indicated that while this increase is troubling, it is still an improvement over the previous administration. “Under President Trump, illegal immigration has declined dramatically over the last year,” spokesman Tyler Q. Houlton told The Times.
The Dangerous Side Of Illegal Immigration
Preventing illegal immigration is important for a myriad of reasons — but few are as important as protecting the safety of American citizens. Most of the immigrants who enter the country illegally are individuals seeking a better life; while they are breaking the law by refusing to go through the proper channels, they do not represent a threat to the lives of others. However, a disturbing number of illegals are individuals who engage in violent behaviors.
MS-13, one of the most ruthless street gangs in the nation, is made up primarily of undocumented immigrants. Unaccompanied minors represent a large percentage of the El Salvadoran gang, which is why a 26% increase in minors coming into the country without parents is alarming.
James Fite of Liberty Nation explains the fact that MS-13 is dramatically different from other street gangs. “Commissioner Sini noted that while MS-13 does engage in theft, extortion, and drug dealing, the primary purpose of the gang seems to be to terrorize the community rather than to make money,” he writes.
The gang uses over-the-top violence to terrorize their enemies and the communities in which they operate. In spring of this year, ten members of the gang murdered a man by stabbing him over 100 times in a Maryland park. They didn’t stop there. They also dismembered the victim’s body and removed his heart. The brutality of this murder is not an outlier — it is their normal mode of operation.
In addition to the threat of gang activity, failing to protect our borders will allow radical Islamic terrorist organizations to infiltrate the country and carry out devastating attacks on Americans. General John Kelly — now President Trump’s chief of staff — gave a warning regarding the threat of terrorist organizations who are collaborating with drug cartels to move their operatives across our southern border.
In written testimony for a Senate panel in 2015, Kelly stated that “foreign nationals from countries like Somalia, Bangladesh, Lebanon, and Pakistan are using the region’s human smuggling networks to enter the United States.” He continued, “While many are merely seeking economic opportunity or fleeing war, a small subset could potentially be seeking to do us harm.”
ISIS has already stated that they intend to continue their jihad by sending operatives into western nations and launching terrorist attacks. The organization is increasing their influence in Latin America by working with cartels to fund their operations overseas. However, the United States has learned that they plan to take advantage of the cartels’ smuggling organizations to help them sneak into the United States.
The U.S. Needs To Do More To Curb Illegal Immigration
Securing our borders should be one of our top priorities — not just to keep people from breaking the law — but also to prevent bad actors from terrorizing our communities. Congress must be willing to work with the president to pass legislation that makes it easier for our law enforcement agencies to stem the flow of illegal immigrants into the country. Houlton stated that the Trump administration’s moves against illegal immigration are positive — but they’re not good enough. “The administration is working tirelessly to secure the border, enhance interior enforcement and establish a merit-based immigration system,” he said. “But we need Congress to act immediately to close immigration loopholes, fund the border wall, terminate outdated visa programs and provide the necessary tools for DHS officials to carry out their mission.”
With a GOP-controlled Congress and a Republican president, we have a unique opportunity to implement policies that will further decrease the number of undocumented immigrants coming into our country. This opportunity is important, given the fact that the GOP is not guaranteed to retain control of the legislative branch forever. If our government is going to do more to address the issue of illegal immigration, they must act now.