Just a few weeks ago, a fierce debate raged over President Trump’s call for a national emergency to direct billions of taxpayer dollars to build a wall along strategic points of the U.S. Mexico border, and while the controversy over Trump’s action persists, all sides now agree there is a humanitarian urgency as the number of people attempting to enter the U.S. continues to swell.
According to government statistics, some 58,000 border apprehensions occurred in January. There were 76,000 in February and the figures for March could reach 100,000.
And the surge is taxing the already stretched manpower and resources along our southern border.
“The system has broken down because it’s so overwhelmed by the number of people we see entering the United States illegally,” said Andrew Arthur of the Center for Immigration Studies.
“The border patrol just doesn’t have the facilities to process those individuals in a timely manner. We lack the detention facilities to hold them and [Health and Human Services], which is supposed to take custody of unaccompanied alien children within 48 hours, is now out of space as well,” said Arthur.
Arthur says one of the reasons for so many people being allowed into the U.S. despite coming illegally is because the Obama administration loosened the terms by which the migrants can ask for protection based on claims of “credible fear” if they return to their home countries.
As a result, 97,000 people in the past year claim credible fear as opposed to 5,000 per year when Obama took office. Those 97,000 claims are then processed by just a few hundred case officers and immigration judges.
Listen to the full podcast to learn about other factors triggering this wave of humanity across the southern border, what President Trump can do to address it and what actions have to come from Congress.