There are a lot more than roughly 14,000 people seeking to invade our border.
The American people are rightfully concerned about the brazen “caravan” of invaders headed for our southern border and fully expect that it will be stopped at all costs before it reaches our border, not in our courtrooms. However, we must not lose sight of the likely 800,000-strong quiet invasion at a less public level that is crossing our border this year.
Brand new data from Customs and Border Protection (CBP) should mobilize Trump and Republicans to not just focus on the caravan but on finally stopping the broader invasion in its entirety.
The big picture of FY 2018 border data
According to CBP, roughly 400,000 illegals were caught sneaking in between our points of entry in FY 2018. Another roughly 125,000 presenting themselves at the port of entry in FY 2018 were deemed inadmissible. The fact that the overall numbers increased by 106,000 from FY 2017 is enough of a concern, but several other data points are even more concerning. The trajectory and the nature of the border crossings are what should really worry us.
First, it’s important to remember that border agents will tell you that the U.S. typically apprehends only 50 percent of those who illegally cross the border. That means that there were likely close to 800,000 people who crossed the border last year not at our points of entry. As such, it’s not just the several hundred thousand illegals that were released into our population after being apprehended that should concern those who care about their communities and schools. What is more concerning are the people we never apprehended, who most likely are more dangerous than the ones we did apprehend. As Brandon Judd, president of the Border Patrol Council, explained on my podcast several months ago:
The criminal cartels are pushing them [the family units] in front as “the sacrificial lambs,” forcing me to use my resources to take them into custody, so that they can then cross the dangerous criminals right behind them. And we play into their hands by continuing to humanize the way things are happening on the border.
Just from a drug crisis standpoint, the hundreds of thousands of undetected illegals coming in every year – thanks to the faux sympathy over “families” – is terrifying. As the LA Times wrote in a recent report, “Chinese companies send fentanyl in small quantities to dealers in the United States or Canada, but ship the drugs in bulk to criminal cartels in Mexico.” Then what happens? “The cartels then mix the synthetics into heroin and other substances, or press them into counterfeit pills. The product is then smuggled across the border.”
The president is signing a series of “opioid bills” today, all of which fail to recognize this premise as the main cause of the 72,000 annual deaths.
Illegal immigration is all tied to our own self-immolating incentives
The next data point that should concern us is the trajectory of the increase, which is unfathomable. While the overall numbers aren’t higher than they were during Obama’s tenure, that is because the numbers dropped to a once-in-a-generation low during the first few months of Trump’s presidency just based on the perception that he’d enforce our sovereignty. Since illegals saw that nothing changed, the numbers surged beyond belief. A total of 16,658 family units were caught between the points of entry in September, a new record and a sharp spike from the previous months. In total, 161,113 family units were apprehended this year. Remember, only 1.4 percent of the family units apprehended last year were deported, so almost all of them remain in our communities, along with the nearly half a million others who were never apprehended! And this is growing every year.
As you can see from this graph, the number of illegals surged 220 percent since the lowest point of the border invasion in April 2017 and 50 percent since last September. What is most remarkable is that the number of family units apprehended has gone up by 960 percent since last April and 280 percent since last September. The numbers spiked 55 percent since this past July, when our bipartisan political elites shilled for the invaders and lamented the “separating of families” rather than the harm caused to American families. If you just isolate the family unit apprehensions to those caught between the points of entry, the numbers increased by 85 percent in just two months! And as Mark Dannels, the head of the Arizona Sheriff’s Association, told me yesterday, “The numbers have not plateaued and are still surging throughout October,” at least in Arizona.
Notice how illegal immigration dropped after the initial rise when Trump implemented the zero-tolerance policy earlier this year? Yes, it’s all about incentives.
What’s also disturbing is that this border surge, unlike the one in 2014-2015, is across the entire southern border, not just in the far-east Rio Grande sector. Although in raw numbers, the overwhelming plurality still came through the Rio Grande sector this year, UAC apprehensions did not increase since last year, while family units increased by a “modest” 27 percent in the busiest sector. Contrast that to Arizona, where family unit apprehensions increased in the Tucson and Yuma sectors by 143 percent and 140 percent respectively. Apprehensions were also up sharply in the other Texas border sectors as well as in San Diego.
Furthermore, the number of family units coming at the points of entry spiked 84 percent since FY 2017, which tells us that they are trying to get caught and surrender themselves thanks to catch-and-release policies in place.
Finally, it’s important to point out that the overwhelming majority of the increased flow was from just one country: Guatemala. While in previous years, the migration from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala was more uniform, this year the migration from Guatemala outpaced the other two by far. Why? As ICE’s Phoenix field director, Henry Lucero, said, “On the news in Guatemala they are saying that you can get a work permit if you’re in a family, if you’re coming with your child, and that you’re going to be released.”
Again, it’s all about incentives.
Try to imagine for a moment the ill effects it has on our community to bring in hundreds of thousands of predominantly male migrants from the most violent, impoverished countries directly linked to the smuggling routes of drugs and gangs? Talk about an issue to win over suburban mothers.
Imagine if Trump were to call Congress back into session and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., for once, would actually speak with as much passion as he does on the issue. Then, indeed, there would be a red wave.
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.