(ESPAÑOL) Illegal immigration has seen a statistical drop in recent months. The administration’s Secretary of Homeland Security John F. Kelly announced this Wednesday, considering it a signal that Trump’s tough policies are working.
Mr. Kelly cites an increase in the rate that human smugglers charge to sneak people into the US as evidence of these policies working. He states that the same smuggling routes which used to cost $3,500 in November now costs $8,000.
Another measurement used for the drop in immigration is the number of apprehensions at the border, traditionally considered a good indicator of the overall flow. Mr. Kelly finds the recent drop in apprehensions to be “unprecedented.”
25,589 people were caught trying to enter without permission at the border during February. This was the lowest it has been since 2012, when monthly statistics were first released, and is a 40% drop from the 42,504 caught in January.
The number of unaccompanied children has also plunged, recording less than 2,000 this month. This is an incredible decrease from the 9,300 recorded January, and more so from the 16,000 recorded in December.
Mr. Kelly is encouraged by this trend since it means less people are putting themselves in danger of being exploited, assaulted, or injured by the traffickers during the transit into the country.
Immigration advocates cite fear of gang violence in their native country as the main cause of illegal crossings, while Mr. Kelly cites these falling immigration rates as evidence of Trump’s policies dissuading prospective immigrants from risking the travel.
If this is true, then the statistics should change more dramatically if and when Trump fulfills his promise of hiring 5,000 more border agents and building the southern border wall.
However, Mr. Kelly expects to see dramatic changes much sooner than that. His department will be monitoring the statistical changes in March, April and May, when the number of border apprehensions usually spikes.