- The Washington Times - Friday, March 10, 2017

President Trump’s vow to enforce U.S. immigration laws is already proving results: Arrests of people crossing the border dropped 40 percent during his first month in office.

It’s almost like illegal immigration isn’t an unmanageable problem after all.

Mr. Trump has aggressively pursued his immigration agenda, signing executive orders to start work building the southern border wall, halting funding to jurisdictions that don’t comply with federal immigration laws and removing illegal immigrants who have committed serious crimes.

He’s directed the Department of Homeland Security to hire 10,000 immigration and customs enforcement officers and agents, and 5,000 border patrol agents.

And all that work in his first 50 days in office is having a deterring effect.

According to a report from The New York Times: “In interviews with migrants, their advocates, and workers at shelters and soup kitchens in Mexico, the United States and Central America, few quibbled with the idea that President Trump had altered the climate for immigration.

Indeed, it was clear that the ground had shifted on both sides of the border, and that the well-traveled route north to a better life had suddenly grown quieter, riskier and more desperate,” The Times reported.

The Associated Press — trying to do its best to explain away Mr. Trump’s success — said the people crossing the border illegally in the winter is typically less than the summer. And that’s true. But it doesn’t explain why illegal border crossing dropped so precipitously from January to February.

According to Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly’s statement, “This change in the trend line is especially significant because CBP historically sees a 10-20 percent increase in apprehensions of illegal immigrants from January to February. Instead, this year we saw a drop from 31,578 to 18,762 persons — a 40 percent decline.”

This, as migrants look to go elsewhere.

“Some migrants who might once have headed to the United States for safety and work are instead looking elsewhere, including Mexico, Belize, Costa Rica, Panama and even South America,” The Times reported.

“If the United States isn’t a country that will provide the guarantees, they will go somewhere else,” Vinicio Sandoval, executive director of the Independent Monitoring Group of El Salvador, a labor and legal rights organization involved in migration issues, explained to The Times.

And that’s a win for the U.S.

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