By Tank Murdoch @TheNatSent
(TNS) Without question, President Donald Trump has been a champ when it comes to enforcing immigration laws.
In addition to clamping down on “sanctuary cities” using policy and lawsuits, his commitment to building a border wall along every stretch of the boundary where it’s possible to build will go down as one of the most effective measures to control illegal immigration in a century.
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But despite these efforts, they pale in comparison to the effect coronavirus has had on reducing illegal immigration.
In fact, Border Patrol officials say that the virus pandemic has reduced illegal crossings to levels not seen since the 9/11 attacks.
“Itâ€™s like next to nothing,â€ an anonymous high-ranking border official told the Washington Examiner. â€œFor almost a week, their apprehensions have beenÂ under 150.â€
â€œThis is what happened on 9/11 â€” on steroids. Mexico has locked down a lot of their country â€¦ and then they [migrants] think if they come to the U.S., theyâ€™re going to catch the virus.â€
Put in perspective, in February U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents apprehended some 30,000 people attempting to cross into the U.S. illegally from Mexico. A year earlier, the number was an astounding 132,000, BizPac Review reports.
At the current rate of capture, Border Patrol officials anticipate they’ll apprehend fewer than 1,000 illegal immigrants this month.
Except now that has created another problem: Over-employment within Border Patrol ranks.
â€œThe issue is what to do with everyone on the border since thereâ€™s no one to arrest,â€ a top Border Patrol official in Texas said, according to BPR. â€œThey flushed out the academy, and they need places for them to go. People are on the payroll, and you have to have them start doing work.â€
And this overabundance of Border Patrol agents comes as President Trump sends more U.S. military personnel to the border as well, according to Business Insider.
â€œThe US military is deploying an additional 540 troops to the US-Mexico border to assist Border Patrol agents handling migrants who may be COVID-19 positive,â€ Business InsiderÂ reported, noting they will join about 5,000 U.S. troops already stationed along the border.
â€œAs the US deploys troops, hospital ships and other military assets across the US to combat the rapidly spreading COVID-19, Gen. Terrance Oâ€™Shaughnessy, the commander of US NORTHCOM told reporters Wednesday that there was also an â€˜increased demand signalâ€™ for support to help secure the southern border over COVID-19 concerns,â€ BI noted further.
When was the last time you heard that we had anÂ overabundance of Border Patrol agents?
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So, while the regular economy suffers, so, too, does the black market economy.
â€œItâ€™s just more proof that itâ€™s a trillion-dollar business model,â€ the senior Border Patrol official said. â€œItâ€™s all a business, and itâ€™s going down just like any other business model right now.â€
â€œThe onslaught of the coronavirus has not only sent the global economy tumbling â€” it has also hit the black market where it hurts, and Mexican cartels are no exception,â€ Fox News reported last week.
â€œThe outbreak of COVID-19 has sent the price of heroin, methamphetamines and fentanyl soaring, as the likes of the Sinaloa cartel â€“ and its main rival, the Jalisco â€˜New Generationâ€™ â€“ struggle to obtain the necessary chemicals to make the synthetic drugs, which typically come from China and are now in minimal supply.â€
Swinging back to the president, however, his policies are continuing to have the desired effect of reducing illegal border crossings.
Last month, Trump signed an executive order requiring all illegal crossers to be immediately deported, much to the angst of the usual Left-wing open borders crowd.
That said, the president and the U.S. military remain vigilant. Trump said last week that U.S. intelligence agencies say the cartels are planning to exploit the outbreak.
â€œAs governments and nations focus on the coronavirus, thereâ€™s a growing threat that cartels, criminals, terrorists, and other malign actors will try to exploit the situation for their own gain. And we must not let that happen. We will never let that happen,â€ he said last week.
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â€œToday, the United States is launching enhanced counter-narcotics operations in the Western Hemisphere to protect the American people from the deadly scourge of illegal narcotics. We must not let the drug cartels exploit the pandemic to threaten American lives,” Trump continued.
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