Trump: Mexico beginning to stop illegal immigration at the border; new border walls effective at stopping illegal immigration
Pres. Trump, at a border security briefing at the Calexico, CA border station April 5, said Mexico has done more to stop illegal immigration in recent weeks than the first two years of his presidency. Still, the president said he was willing to close the border to stop illegal immigration.
“Mexican authorities are apprehending people and taking them back to their countries, taking them back to where they came from,” Trump said. “That’s a big difference. It will really help. In (the last) 30 years they have never done that."
Along a 70 mile stretch of border fence, since October, security personnel have seen a nearly 400 percent increase in family units arriving at the border.
The system can’t take any asylum seekers any more, Trump said.
He said the court system that processes illegal immigrants i full and can’t handle any more people.
“Part of (illegal immigration problem) is just a scam,” he said.
He also said that asylum laws are broken. Current asylum laws allow people to claim asylum, but most never return for their hearing.
“Turn around,” is the president’s message to people hoping to cross the border illegally.
More than 70,000 migrants recently “rushed” the border, or attempted to force their way across the border, he said.
Gloria Chavez, El Centro Sector Chief, U.S. Border Patrol agreed with the president.
“Our border is overwhelmed,” Chavez said. “Our resources are extremely strained.”
“We are not prepared to deal with the number of family units, the number of people, children and organized caravans that are coming across this border today. Our agents are being stretched.”
She said the actions of human smugglers are callous, and are making the job of border patrol agents more difficult.
“Just in the this sector, we have identified 193 fake families,” she said. “They are people who are teaming up kids to come through, because they know that they can get a court date, and be released into the community.”
Chavez said the El Centro Sector has about 58 miles of wall or fence.
“Most of it is old, it’s ineffective for us nowadays,” she said.
Chavez said she appreciates the president sending military servicemen and women to assist border security agents.
“Right now we have 37 Marines monitoring cameras for us,” she said.
That frees up 37 border patrol agents, she said.
Chavez said the border wall helps to decrease illegal entries.
The border wall was constructed in 8 months, from February to October, she said.
“After the wall was built, illegal entries decreased by 75 percent,” she said.
Todd T. Semonite, Commanding General and Chief of Engineers U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said the border patrol agents protect Americans in the same way that military personnel protect Americans overseas.
“I’ve been on the ground,” he said. “I’ve seen the dedication that they have. This is not for a paycheck. This is to step up and take care of this country.”
Semonite said 82 miles of fence has been finished, and another 92 miles will be done before the end of the year - from Texas to California.
“Then another 270 miles of border wall (will be finished) the following year” he said.
He said a total of 450 miles of fence will be completed by December of 2020 at a cost of $8 billion.
“That includes 33 different projects,” he said.
Chavez said Illegal immigrants from Central America attempting to cross the this sector decreased by 86 percent after two miles of border wall was constructed at the Calexico border station.
Use of force incidents also decreased by 65 percent after the wall was constructed, she said.
“For border patrol agents, a border patrol system is what works,” Chavez said. “We need to border barrier. We need the requirements that we asked for. In this case it’s 30 feet high. That’s what we asked for. And that’s what was provided.”
Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, said it’s the first time that a sitting president in recent decades have been as close to the border as President Trump.
“We greatly appreciate you coming out and the time you have given them,” Judd said.
“I began my career 21 years ago in the El Centro Sector.”
Judd said he has worked with border patrol agents before and after the 30-foot-wall was built.
“We’ve seen how illegal immigration (decreased illegal border crossings) when we build those physical barriers,” he said.
Judd said the idea of a border wall may be archaic, but in fact, the border walls do work.
“For those congressmen who are obstructionists, I say, if they are not going to be part of the solution, at least get out of your way, let your administration do what needs to be done to get the border secure,” he said.
Chavez also presented the president with a piece of the new border wall as a token of their appreciation for his efforts to help them.
© 2019 Larry Ingram
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