The number of people apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border dropped by about 36 percent n February, compared to February 2016. That’s also a big drop from January, reversing the usual trend of an increase from January to February. Numbers of families and unaccompanied children fell dramatically. The Department of Homeland Security quickly claimed credit for Trump’s tough talk on immigration – and that may be an accurate reading.
Does border drop mean Trump’s tough talk is working? (CNN, 3/9/17) and Illegal Border Crossings Appear to Drop Under Trump (New York Times, 3/9/17) and US says illegal crossings from Mexico declined from January to February (The Guardian, 3/9/17) and The staggering, sudden change at the US border (Vox, 3/9/17) Vox sums it up:
“Fewer people are coming to the US because fewer Central American children and families are coming to the US. …
“The Trump administration’s border crackdown is, first and foremost, a crackdown on Central American children and families….
“Deterrence might work, but fear is easier to instill than maintain.”
This company is making millions from America’s broken immigration system (Washington Post, 3/9/17) Libre by Nexus is a for-profit bail bond company that targets immigrants. Besides charging to post bail, Libre charges $420 a month, every month, for the ankle monitor that it requires clients to wear.
“[A] dozen of Libre’s clients said they struggled to pay the monthly fee for the device — which they call a “grillete,” or shackle — and feared if they didn’t, they would be detained again….
“What we’re going to end up with is internment camps along the Southern border, and people wasting away in them,” [Libre co-founder Michael Donovan] said. “And I know that we are the only hope that a significant number of those people will have. . . . So I’ve got to figure out a way to grow our business to serve more of them.”
“Donovan and [co-founder] Moore … are ex-convicts who became lobbyists, then multimillionaire entrepreneurs. Along the way, Donovan became an ordained minister.”
Mitch McConnell’s refreshingly honest answer about Mexico paying for the border wall (Washington Post,3/9/17)
“Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was asked by Politico’s Jake Sherman and Anna Palmer on Thursday morning whether he believed that Mexico would, ultimately, foot the cost for the border wall President Trump wants built on our southern border.
“Uh, no,” was McConnell’s blunt response, according to CNN’s Manu Raju.”
Bad for Undocumented Immigrants, A Gift for Domestic Abusers (Slate, 3/9/17)
“Last week, Denver City Attorney Kristin Bronson revealed one of the effects of this crackdown. Since Trump issued his order, Bronson said in an interview with Colorado’s KUSA TV, four undocumented domestic violence victims have decided not to pursue claims against their abusers, forcing her office to drop the cases….
“‘They told us they were unwilling to continue participating in their cases because they feared deportation. They were concerned that if they continued to pursue their claims—and especially if they were called to testify—their identity, address, and location might become known to ICE.”
San Francisco asks federal judge to block Trump order penalizing ‘sanctuary’ cities (Los Angeles Times, 3/9/17)
Facing Possible Deportation, Immigrant Activist Ravi Ragbir Speaks Out Before ICE Check-in (Democracy Now, 3/9/17)
More on the refugee and travel ban
Legal challenges to Trump’s travel ban mount from U.S. states (AP via NPR, 3/9/17) and Washington State will ask judge to declare that freeze of first Trump travel ban applies to new order (Washington Post, 3/9/17) and Four states suing to block Trump’s new travel ban (The Hill, 3/9/17) Washington says it’s still a Muslim ban, and still unconstitutional, and still will hurt the state’s businesses and universities. Hawaii says the ban is bad for the state’s Muslim residents, for the state’s tourism industry and economy, and for students.
Refugee ban could result in increased illegal immigration (The Hill, 3/9/17) With the double blow of Trump’s suspension of refugee admissions and slashing the total number of refugee admissions, Central American children have no chance of legal entry through the Central American Minors program. That could mean more unauthorized border crossing ahead, as families desperately try to get their children away from the murders and gang violence in Guatemala and El Salvador.
FIFA: Trump’s travel ban could ruin America’s chances of hosting a World Cup (Vox, 3/9/17) Because, says FIFA head Gianni Infantino: “Teams who qualify for a World Cup need to have access to the country, otherwise there is no World Cup. That is obvious.”