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The Emergency At The US-Mexico Border

'Staggering' numbers of illegal migrants -- and it may get much worse

Wait a minute. Wait a minute. I thought we were told that there was no national emergency at the US-Mexico border. What do you call what the Washington Post is now reporting? Excerpts:

Groups like this arrived again and again in February, one of the coldest and busiest months along the southern border in years. U.S. authorities detained more than 70,000 migrants last month, according to preliminary figures, up from 58,000 in January. The majority were Central American parents with children who arrived, again, in unprecedented numbers.

During a month when the border debate was dominated by the fight over President Trump’s push for a wall, unauthorized migration in fiscal 2019 is on pace to reach its highest level in a decade. Department of Homeland Security officials say they expect the influx to swell in March and April, months that historically see large increases in illegal crossings as U.S. seasonal labor demand rises.


The number of migrants taken into custody last year jumped 39 percent from February to March, and a similar increase this month would push levels to 100,000 detentions or more.

It was a surge in the border numbers in March 2018 that infuriated President Trump and launched his administration’s attempt to deter families by separating children from their parents. Trump stopped the separations six weeks later to quell public outrage. But the controversy the policy generated — and its widely publicized reversal — is now viewed by U.S. agents as the moment that opened the floodgates of family migration even wider, worsening the problem it was meant to fix.

While arrests along the border fell in recent years to their lowest levels in half a century, they are now returning to levels not seen since the George W. Bush administration, driven by the record surge in the arrival of Central American families.

Read the whole thing. Note this quote:

“The numbers are staggering, and we’re incredibly worried that we will see another huge increase in March,” said a Homeland Security official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the unpublished figures.

I have been among those who believe that Trump’s declaration of a “national emergency” to build the wall was a bad idea. I still believe that, because the wall — if we are to have a wall –should be constructed through the democratic process. Note, though, that the Democrats are far more permissive on immigration than they were in the past. One reason: immigrants are future Democratic voters.

What happens when one political party is more or less for open borders because it strongly stands to benefit them? This is a more dangerous situation than I had realized, because ti amounts to one party turning a blind eye to a peaceful invasion that stands to change the political and cultural balance in this country to benefit their own side. These migrants are poor, desperate people. But if their poverty and desperation is all that it takes to give them the right to live in the United States, why do we have borders at all?

UPDATE: Reader Jonah R. comments:

Last year, my county was on the verge of giving taxpayer money to a private organization that provides free legal counsel to illegals. On the night of the vote, our county council was genuinely shocked by a show of opposition led by legal immigrants, and they postponed the vote.

I might feel more welcoming if my county leaders had put together anything resembling a plan for adding nearly 200,000 poor, illiterate Spanish speakers to our community. Instead, our schools are bursting at the seams, our social services are swamped, and we’ve seen an increase in gang crime, along with an increase in county spending on stuff that was unthinkable 30 years ago, like gang interdiction. Funding increases from higher taxes are going to areas and programs to help Hispanic immigrants. Sorry, black residents whose ancestors have lived here since before the Civil War! Maybe next century.

And because all right-thinking people love immigrants and can’t say an unkind word about them, it’s impossible here to discuss the basic economics of the problem. Not whether Salvadorans are nice or not nice, not the politics of language classes or assimilation, not what to do next—no, merely the economics of what got us to this moment. Oh, good liberal people will lower their voices to a whisper and admit that such-and-such area of the county has “gotten bad,” but that badness just happened, you see, a force majeure like a thunderstorm or an earthquake. Admitting you’re agnostic about illegal immigration might raise suspicions: What if people start to wonder if you’re a secret Trump voter, living among them like a Cylon in human form? No, better just to go along and say nothing.

In this regard, Trump isn’t helping. Deserved or not, his efforts to curb illegal immigration come off like the angry hand-wringing of Archie Bunker, and it’s not productive in places where the subject is taboo. Short of some dream world in which high-profile Democrats saying the same thing in less brash ways, I can’t imagine what would be helpful.

And so I wait for the next tax increases and wonder how long it will be until my wife and I stop being able to afford to retire in the town and neighborhood where we’ve made our home. We’ll probably be replaced by someone richer than our modest selves, and then politicians will wring their hands over our county’s income inequality, the latest problem which somehow, sans explanation, just happened…