Threaten to close the American border with Mexico, and everyone and their brother makes a run for it. That may not be the message that Axios wanted to send with their recent exclusive on border crossings increasing, but that’s one take away.
The bigger points that the report makes are:
The surge has been driven by an influx of migrant families and unaccompanied children, according to a DHS official. “At the moment, we have the closest thing to an open border that we’ve had,” said Leon Fresco, an immigration attorney and member of a Homeland Security advisory committee formed by DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen several months ago.
- Detention centers are overcrowded, and immigration officials often aren’t able to deport immigrants as quickly through expedited removal procedures.
- Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection have even begun releasing migrant families into the U.S. almost immediately instead of holding them in detention, Mark Morgan, former chief of Customs and Border Protection under Barack Obama, told Axios. He said this could create an additional incentive for migrants.
The latest data comes at a time when the Trump administration is trying to make the case that there is a true emergency at the border, in the face of skepticism in Congress and pushback over his national emergency intended to fund a border wall.
- It also comes during reports of Mexican smugglers using buses for quicker, safer transportation for Guatemalan migrants. Central Americans continue to gather in large groups for the long voyage to the border.
- The Trump administration is expanding a policy that forces some asylum seekers to stay in Mexico until their case is completed. And President Trump has vetoed Congress’s efforts to end his declared national emergency.
How this is supposed to be bad news for the president’s stance that there is an emergency at the southern border is a mystery.
If anything, the latest data from the Department of Homeland Security – and the reports that “migrants” are being released into the wind due to overcrowding – are proof that President Donald Trump is correct. There is an emergency at the southern border and just threatening to close it to outside traffic is spurring the caravans to make a run for it at an accelerated clip.