Illegal crossings decrease, Sessions pulls sanctuary funding
WASHINGTON, April 1, 2015 – While on Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly Thursday Attorney General Jeff Sessions said President Trump’s policies and tough talk about illegal immigration had the number of southern border crossings dropping dramatically.
Customs and Border Protection report that illegal southwest border crossings were down 40 percent in February 2017, a month that has historically seen an increase of 10-20% in January to February. CBP data confirms that against historical trends the 40% drop in illegal southwest border crossings from January to February is outside normal seasonal trends. Data shows that apprehensions and inadmissible individuals crossing our border decreased from 31,578 in January to 18,762 in February. CPB data also show that border apprehensions have increased January – February 2017.
The report also finds that if a border wall stopped a small fraction of the illegal immigrants who are expected to come in the next decade, the fiscal savings from having fewer illegal immigrants in the country would be sufficient to cover the costs of the wall.
A recent NAS study estimated “the lifetime fiscal impact (taxes paid minus services used) of immigrants by education. Averaging the cost estimates from that study and combining them with the education levels of illegal border-crossers shows a net fiscal drain of $74,722 per illegal crosser.” (Source: http://cis.org/The-Cost-of-a-Border-Wall-vs-the-Cost-of-Illegal-Immigration)
In addition to stopping illegal immigrants at the border, the attorney general said the Trump administration’s plans to eliminate sanctuary cities:
“This is a serious matter. The American people, by an 80% margin, think these sanctuary cities are wrong. It clearly makes their own cities less safe.”
In recent weeks, Sessions has taken steps to increase his department’s focus on immigration saying that federal law enforcement grants would not be granted in 2017 for cities/state that refuse to comply with federal laws.
Sessions explained that his Justice Department doesn’t want to get to that point:
“Well we don’t want to take any measures, we want to see these cities comply. I was pleased that Miami complied, I was pleased to see the president of the Maryland Senate reject a House-passed bill and say ‘Maryland will not be a sanctuary state.’ He said that unequivocally [and] he’s a Democrat.
So I think [that] a lot of these leaders need to hear from their constituents. You’re right, it’s not going to devastate their budgets, we don’t have that much money that will be controlled, but it is a signal [and] a refuting of their policies.”
Opponents of the A.G., and President are watching as new policy will allow the Justice Department to hire 75 more immigration judge teams for the purpose of removals of criminal illegal aliens. There is also an increase of 60 border enforcement prosecutors and 40 more deputy U.S. marshals to apprehend and transport those in the country illegally.
The budget also calls for an additional $171 million to buy short-term detention space, much of which will likely be used to house undocumented immigrants before their speedy return to their country of origin.
“Immigration is one of their top priorities, permeating every part of their agenda, and every part of the federal government and agencies,” Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, said of the Trump White House.
Attorney General Sessions is planning a trip to the Nogales border region. It is here that improved security is required as it is one of the more porous areas along the border. Control of illegal border crossings was once a concern for both sides of the congressional aisle.
If he follows through, the border visit would come at a time when President Trump is asking Congress for billions of dollars to begin construction on a longer and larger wall between the United States and Mexico.
In 2013, a bipartisan group of senators, led by John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) traveled to Nogles in 2013 with a bipartisan senatorial mission during the discussion on immigration reform.
During the tour, McCain wrote on Twitter that a woman scaled the 18-foot bollard fence dropping to the U.S. side of the border before she was apprehended by patrol agents.
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) March 27, 2013
Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, emphasized that any single-layered fencing is “defeatable” saying “we do not think a 2,000-mile wall, a great wall of the United States, is necessary. But we 100 percent support a wall in strategic locations that allow us to dictate the crossing points.”