Editor’s note: When it comes to immigration – illegal or otherwise – the American people have a right to be concerned. Each week, Liberty Nation author Kelli Ballard examines a contentious issue related to today’s hottest topic.
There’s a lot of controversy over whether President Donald Trump’s immigration-control endeavours are working. Opposers say the efforts cost too much and are tearing families apart. Supporters applaud the outcomes and are eager to see more security improvements. So which is it?
We’ve already seen how Mexico’s assistance in beefing up security has prevented large numbers of migrants from traveling into the United States. U.S. Customs and Border Control (CBP) has said Trump’s program is having a definite impact. In a Feb. 11 press release, the agency stated, “Declines show effective Trump Administration initiatives to control border crossings.”
Tunnel Sets New Record
In January, we learned about the longest cross-border tunnel ever discovered in the Southwest region. The tunnel begins in Tijuana, Baja California, in an industrial area just west of the Otay Mesa Port of Entry. It was originally located in August 2019, and since then law enforcement has been mapping it to find it extends an amazing 4,068 feet from the border. The total length comes in at 4,309 feet, just over three-quarters of a mile. To put that into perspective, the previous record-holder tunnel at 2,966 feet was found in San Diego in 2014.
Deputy Chief Patrol Agent Aaron M. Heitke said, “I am thrilled that this high-level narco-tunnel has been discovered and will be rendered unusable for cross-border smuggling. I am proud of the tremendous efforts of the Tunnel Task Force and our agents.”
Approximately five and a half feet tall and two feet wide, the tunnel is situated, on average, about 70 feet below the surface. The luxuries include an extensive rail/cart system, high-voltage electrical cables and panels, forced ventilation, a drainage system, and even an elevator at the entrance.
Cardell T. Morant, acting special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) San Diego expressed the importance of agencies working together for immigration control:
“While subterranean tunnels are not a new occurrence along the California-Mexico border, the sophistication and length of this particular tunnel demonstrates the time-consuming efforts transnational criminal organizations will undertake to facilitate cross-border smuggling. This discovery underscores the importance of the partnerships HSI has with the U.S. Attorney’s Office (USAO), United States Border Patrol (USBP), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and other regional agencies, as collaborative investigations and community outreach are key to combating this type of threat.”
Another tunnel broke off from the main at approximately 3,529 feet into the United States. It traveled several feet before coming to an end, although it did not break through to the surface. The main tunnel continued for another city block, and several hundred sandbags were discovered blocking what is suspected to be the exit in the Otay Mesa warehouse district in the United States.
Immigration Control by the Numbers
Since May 2019, at what the CBP described as “the peak of the humanitarian and border security crisis,” necessary enforcement actions on the Southwest border have seen a whopping 74.5% decrease. CBP Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan provided January’s numbers and applauded Trump’s efforts:
“We continue to see positive results because of the steps taken by the Trump Administration to control the border and uphold the rule of law. We’ve seen eight straight months of decline, but as we see from the seizure of the longest-ever tunnel between the U.S. and Mexico and significant drug seizures, much work remains. We hope that Congress will finally act to address the ongoing crisis on the Southwest border and pass meaningful legislation to strengthen our immigration system.”
Here is a breakdown of the numbers for January along the Southwest border:
- A 10% decrease in enforcement compared to December 2019.
- CBP conducted 36,679 total enforcement actions.
- There were 29,200 apprehensions and 7,479 inadmissibility decisions.
- Nationwide enforcement actions were 37% lower than January 2019.
- Seizure of almost 54,000 pounds of drugs nationwide, 50,000 of which were confiscated on the Southwest border.
The numbers don’t lie, folks. The Trump administration’s illegal immigration control programs are working. Now if only the liberals and Congress would take off the blinders and set the horse before the cart.
Read more from Kelli Ballard.