Immigrants who dare to cross the U.S.-Mexico border are saying that many of their peers would rather stay home amid fears over President Trump’s aggressive anti-immigration policies. Most of immigrants decided to put off their plans to enter country until they see how the policies unfold.
There are mothers who heard that Trump might change the law to remove parents and keep the children here. That stopped a lot of people,
said Jose Gonzalez from El Salvador.
Fewer Border Crossers Entering the U.S.
The agents guarding the country’s southern border have confirmed that the number of people crossing the border illegally has dropped dramatically in recent months. They believe that a so-called “Trump effect” is deterring immigrants from entering the country.
In March, around 12,500 people were caught at the border, which represents the lowest number over the last 17 years. Border arrests also saw a huge drop. The Department of Homeland Security thinks the sharp decline is “no accident” and should be credited to the new administration’s policies.
Migration experts, on the other hand, recommend waiting several more months to see whether the drop-offs are part of a trend. The numbers could jump just as fast as they have declined.
Still, many people in Central and Southern America are intimidated by Trump’s crackdown on sanctuary cities and plan to build a “great, great wall” along the country’s southern border. What’s more, the DHS announced that immigration agents might start separating individuals illegally crossing the border from their children to prevent other families from coming.
In recent years, tens of thousands of migrants arrived in the U.S. every month and the traffic surged as poverty and gang violence in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras skyrocketed.
The former administration also took action to deter illegal immigrants from moving north especially in 2014 when there was an unprecedented number of families with children trying to cross the border. The Obama administration too tried to intimidate migrants with deportations at the time. But the border arrests fell only to rise again a year later.
‘Trump Effect’ Rendering the Border Quiet
However, the “Trump effect” is expected to be longer lasting. Some migrants rushed to enter the U.S. before he took office as a surge in border arrests in October, November, and December suggests. Others refused to send their kids on school trips to other countries for fear that Trump might close the borders overnight.
Trump centered much of his campaign rhetoric on the migrant issue. He even called border crossers rapists, criminals, and people who come to steal American jobs. So, he repeatedly pledged to build a physical border wall and ramp up deportations. His administration has requested from Congress funding for the wall and more border patrol agents. So, many immigration experts agree Trump’s proposals impacted migrant traffic.
Several shelters in Texas, which usually welcome the bulk of border crossers, confirmed the migrant traffic collapsed to a fraction of what it used to be. Another haven, close to the Mexico-Guatemala border, said traffic in February and March dropped by a half from last year’s levels. This means that fewer migrants are leaving Central America and heading to the U.S.
In under 100 days the President has destoryed the hopes and dreams of immigrants wanted to come to America and started to eliminate key American ideas. I only hope we can stop quickly before time runs out.
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