There were four times as many illegal border crossings this May compared to the same period last year, according to the latest data from Homeland Security (DHS.)
“The May 2018 Southwest Border Migration numbers show that for the third month in a row more than 50,000 illegal border crossers were apprehended. The number of apprehended illegal border crossers increased slightly from the previous month and climbed by 160 percent in May 2018 in comparison to May 2017,” said Tyler Q. Houlton, DHS press secretary in a statement.
Border Patrol agents caught over 40,344 people along the Mexico-U.S. southwest border last month, 6,405 of which were unaccompanied alien children (UAC,) along with 9,485 “family units.”
In May of 2017, there were 1,493 UAC and 1,577 family units caught at the border.
Although the Trump administration has cracked down on illegal immigration, Houlton argues the government can only do so much without Congress coming to a compromise on immigration policy.
“No one expects to reverse years of political inaction overnight or in a month,” said Houlton. “Smugglers, human traffickers, and nefarious actors know our loopholes well and accordingly exploit them. The refusal by members of Congress to close catch-and-release loopholes have prevented the administration from controlling the border.”
In April, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security would be implementing a “Zero Tolerance” policy against illegal immigration.
He also said he would be sending 35 more prosecutors and 18 immigration judges to handle immigration cases at the southwest border.
“If you cross this border unlawfully, then we will prosecute you. It’s that simple,” said Sessions. “If you smuggle illegal aliens across our border, then we will prosecute you. If you are smuggling a child, then we will prosecute you and that child will be separated from you as required by law. If you don’t like that, then don’t smuggle children over our border.”
Since then, the Trump administration has gradually implemented new stricter policies to curb illegal immigration.
A few weeks ago, Sessions directed immigration judges to start prosecuting deportation cases directly instead of putting them on a wait-list for administrative closure, a former Obama-era process where judges would often postpone cases involving low-priority illegal immigrants on a permanent wait-list to avoid their deportation.
Houlton also said that the DHS needs more resources and that combating illegal immigration is an on-going problem.
“These numbers show that while the Trump administration is restoring the rule of law, it will take a sustained effort and continuous commitment of resources over many months to disrupt cartels, smugglers and nefarious actors,” said Houlton.
Author’s note: While the Dems are quick to claim that these numbers prove the Trump administration’s immigration crackdown isn’t working, perhaps agents are actually catching more illegals that would have been undetected in the past? Also, maybe more people are trying to get into the U.S. now in anticipation of even more stricter laws soon to come.