Picture the entire population of Indianapolis — every man woman and child in the city of about 860,000, which is rated as the 12th largest in the United States.
Then picture that many illegal immigrants crossing the United States southern border to be arrested by Border Patrol agents. That’s the reality of 2019, according to data published by the Washington Examiner.
The number arrested is the highest since 2007.
The federal fiscal year, which runs from Oct. 1 through Sept. 30, closed last week with 40,000 arrests in September, a massive drop from the 132,000 arrests in May.
The numbers do not represent all of those who wanted to enter the U.S.
As of Aug. 31, 263,000 would-be immigrants had been turned away at ports of entry, the Examiner reported. Totals for the final quarter have not yet been released.
Data from the southern border show the impact of migration from Central America, with more than 250,000 people each from Guatemalan and Honduras being arrested.
Migrants claiming to be family units showed a major spike, according to the data. Through Aug. 31, more than 450,000 of those arrested said they were traveling with a family member. As recently as 2015, the number was below 80,000.
“The increases and demographic changes in illegal crossings are in direct response to loopholes in our laws that are being exploited,” Homan testified.
“These family groups continue to come because they are incentivized and rewarded to come and illegally enter our border because they know DHS must release them within 20 days by law and they will be allowed to remain in the U.S. indefinitely while awaiting immigration court proceedings, if they choose to show up at all,” he said.
Homan said the current crisis is unique.
“What is happening on our southern border is unprecedented in my 34 years of service in several ways. The composition of those entering illegally is unprecedented because 70 percent of those entering are either family units or unaccompanied children.
It is also unprecedented that a majority of those crossing are abusing the asylum laws and making fraudulent claims to asylum and exploit the loopholes that Congress has refused to close,” Homan testified.
“As a 34-year veteran of immigration enforcement, I am extremely concerned about the growing risks to our nation’s public safety, national security, and rule of law, due to illegal and uncontrolled immigration. The current crisis extends well beyond our southern border. It affects almost every major city in the United States,” he said.
“This just isn’t a border crisis, it’s a national crisis.”
“Mass illegal migration is unfair, unsafe, and unsustainable for everyone involved,” Trump said
At a later point, he added:
“Nearly one-third of women who make the journey north to our border are sexually assaulted along the way. Yet, here in the United States and around the world, there is a growing cottage industry of radical activists and non-governmental organizations that promote human smuggling. These groups encourage illegal migration and demand erasure of national borders.
“Today, I have a message for those open border activists who cloak themselves in the rhetoric of social justice: Your policies are not just. Your policies are cruel and evil. You are empowering criminal organizations that prey on innocent men, women, and children. You put your own false sense of virtue before the lives, well-being, [of] countless innocent people. When you undermine border security, you are undermining human rights and human dignity,” Trump said then, according to the White House transcript of his speech.
Trump also used the occasion to deliver a message to those thinking of coming to the U.S. illegally.
“To anyone considering crossings of our border illegally, please hear these words: Do not pay the smugglers. Do not pay the coyotes. Do not put yourself in danger. Do not put your children in danger. Because if you make it here, you will not be allowed in; you will be promptly returned home.
“You will not be released into our country. As long as I am president of the United States, we will enforce our laws and protect our borders,” he said.
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