We shouldn’t be hiring judges by the thousands, as our ridiculous immigration laws demand, we should be changing our laws, building the Wall, hire Border Agents and Ice and not let people come into our country based on the legal phrase they are told to say as their password.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 21, 2018
The president is absolutely right. Let’s stop managing this invasion and start blocking it. End illegal immigration once and for all.
There’s only one way to solve the immigration crisis in a way that is humane to Americans, first and foremost, but that also ceases to empower drug cartels and human smuggling, benefits legitimate asylees, and deters fake ones from making the trip. We need to end all asylum applications within our borders and route the process solely through facilities in Mexico.
There is one data point that should immediately end the suicidal process of letting tens of thousands of dangerous people be released into our country: Roughly 80 percent of asylum applicants from Central America have been rejected outright in recent years by immigration judges, who are typically more liberal in their views. The number of applicants who truly fit the statutory description of an asylee is likely infinitesimal, and a very small percentage are ultimately approved.
This means that by entertaining enormous number of asylum applications within our borders, where many applicants who ultimately will not be accepted are nevertheless released into the population, we are putting Americans at risk with social problems, fiscal drains, strains on the schools, drugs, and gangs, all for a small number of legitimate asylees. Even under Trump, those who enter at the points of entry are released into our country pending the outcome of the cases. But if we know that almost all of them will not be accepted and many of them abscond, particularly the ones from Central America, we are essentially putting America last and endangering them all for a lie.
By far, the top four countries of origin that send us asylum applicants are Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. These are among the most homogenous countries in the world, and there is no widespread religious or ethnic persecution. But because of their proximity to America, they take advantage of us.
Let’s take a look at the success rate of approved applications, as analyzed by the Center for Immigration Studies.
For the Central American countries, the success rate in 2015 was just five to nine percent, and for Mexico, it was two percent.
Thus, we have a massive magnet to come here, get released into our society, and commit all sorts of crime and shake down the taxpayer – all for nothing. As of August 2016, ICE was overseeing 2.3 million illegal aliens who were released from detention, 368,574 of whom had prior criminal convictions but were allowed to remain in the country. Nearly one million have already received final deportation orders. While those released from detention, due to runaway court decisions, are officially supervised by ICE, the report found that in some field offices, there is only one agent per 10,000 released aliens.
There is no safe way to manage border migration due to the drug cartels
In addition, all of the smuggling revenue goes to the drug cartels. The drug cartels use all the bogus asylees and other economic migrants as diversions to smuggle in the more dangerous criminal aliens who often go undetected by federal authorities, especially if they commit crimes in sanctuary states and cities, which is where most of them reside. Their ability to cross into our country is enabled strategically by the economy we create by accepting all these asylum applications that the cartels use to tie down our agents.
As the Texas Department of Public Safety warned in its 2017 threat overview, “Nearly all illegal aliens who illegally enter the United States make use of alien smuggling organizations (ASOs),” and “the cartels have profited from the increase in illegal crossings in 2014 and 2015.” “The increase of illegal alien gang members crossing the border into Texas among unaccompanied minors the previous year  … positioned the gang [MS-13] as one of the state’s most significant gang threats.” The report observed that “these groups pose the greatest gang threat to Texas due to their relationships with Mexican cartels, high levels of transnational criminal activity, high levels of violence, and overall statewide presence.” Not surprisingly, the Texas DPS says that MS-13 “emerged as a top-tier gang threat in Texas in 2015.”
Guess what happened in 2015? The same thing that is happening in 2018 – a border surge of teenagers and family units from Central America. This is the other half of the border crisis the media doesn’t focus on, and it’s enabled by our magnets for illegal immigration and catch-and-release policies. In that sense, these migrants, and the policies that encourage them, are serving as human shields for cartels, gangs, Special Interest Aliens (Middle Easterners), and thousands of tons of drugs killing our people – the same way children were used as human shields for Hamas at Israel’s border with Gaza.
Imagine if we announced a complete moratorium on cross-border migration at the points of entry or between points of entry, and instead, required everyone to file asylum claims outside our country, in our Mexico City embassy, for example?
We would end the entire problem of flooding our country with asylum claims. We’d end the entire economy for the drug cartels. We’d remove their ability to use diversions to bring in dangerous people. And we’d be able to weed out the legitimate applicants in a controlled environment and bring them into the country and not subject them to communities and schools that are as violent as the ones they are fleeing. There would be no more rape trees, human smuggling, and kidnappings. The smuggling business is a very efficient economy that responds to market forces, and if we only shut down that market, the chain reaction of mayhem and misery for Americans and migrants alike would end.
Even if the majority of the asylum seekers were both legitimate and peaceful, it would be irresponsible to place Americans on the hook for their release pending adjudication. Given that so few of them even qualify, it is ludicrous to bring them onto our soil first, release them later, and ask questions about the effects on our communities never.
Death by a thousand lawsuits on our soil
Many people have well-intentioned ideas to speed up the process for asylum. But with 714,000 claims that are increasing every day, and with an army of tens of thousands of radical immigration lawyers from the ACLU, MALDEF, and the National Immigration Law Center flush with funding from Soros and other left-wing groups, there is no way we will be able to keep America safe with this process unfolding on our soil. Judges are finding multiple avenues to release them, even if Trump winds up winning on the unified detention issue with family units and the Flores agreement. As one immigration lawyer told Politico, “May a thousand litigation flowers bloom.”
Also, even if Trump successfully built an impenetrable 2,000-mile wall, if we don’t fix our suicidal policies that lead to catch-and-release and judicial amnesty, illegal immigrants will just come to the points of entry, get pro bono lawyers, and receive amnesty from the forum-shopped California judges.
This is why we need to think broader. Any supporter of American security and legitimate asylum should welcome the idea of housing and adjudicating asylum claims in a safe and controlled environment outside our country. Trump should use Sec. 212(f) of the INA to shut down all immigration at our border – points of entry or otherwise – and route them to the Mexico City embassy. Then, he should use NAFTA to negotiate a deal with Mexico to house them in a facility south of the border and demand funding from Congress in the budget bill. The cost of such a facility would be almost nothing compared to the $135 billion-per-year direct cost of illegal immigration, which doesn’t include the human toll of MS-13 and the crushing human and fiscal cost of the drug crisis that is largely enabled by cross-border migration.
Australia succeeded in stopping illegal immigration altogether with this policy. After experiencing close to 20,000 migrants landing boats on the shores of Australia in 2013, the Australian government changed policies and announced that nobody would gain status or be processed on the mainland. The number of illegal immigrants went down to zero. The lesson is simple. If you truly want to stop illegal immigration, then stop illegal immigration, and stop sending mixed signals to people attempting to cross the border.
Let’s not play whack-a-mole with the Left and the courts on their turf. Let’s solve the issue at the source of the problem.
Editor’s note: This article has been updated to correct the relative cost of a housing/processing facility for would-be migrants compared to the current direct cost of illegal immigration.
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.