Unauthorized border crossings are at a historic low, and have been decreasing for at least a decade. Crime in border cities is falling, as is crime across the United States. El Paso’s Republican mayor says Trump is wrong: his city is safe, and claims of a border security crisis are “just hyperbole that is misplaced.” FBI crime statistics back him up. The mayors of Brownsville, Texas and Nogales, Arizona also insist that there is no crime wave and no immigration crisis in their border cities.
Crime across the country has been declining since the early 1990s. Immigrants are less likely to commit crime than native-born U.S. citizens. Crossing the border without authorization is a misdemeanor—like driving 58 miles an hour in a 55 mile zone or setting off bottle rockets and Roman candles in Minnesota on the Fourth of July. Yet federal prosecutors have been directed to focus on immigrants crossing the border, clogging federal court dockets and filing private prisons. In April, almost 60 percent of all federal prosecutions were for immigration offenses.
The real immigration crisis emanate from Washington DC. That’s where illegal enforcement and anti-immigrant policy combine to create on-going crises:
- More than 1,000 asylum seekers have been jailed for months or years without individual case reviews, leading U.S District Judge James Boasberg to order on Monday that the government must immediately release or grant hearings to these illegally imprisoned asylum seekers;
- The backlog for people seeking citizenship has grown to more than 700,000 applications, with immigrants in some jurisdictions facing waits of more than 20 months. The National Partnership for New Americans calls this a “‘second wall’ that prevents eligible lawful
- permanent residents (LPRs) from becoming citizens and voters.”
- The Trump administration continues to hold more than 2,000 children taken from their parents, despite continuing anguished pleas from those parents, severe trauma to children, and a court order for reunification.
- Now the Trump administration has issued a form for parents to sign giving two options: deportation with your children or deportation without your children, and no option for continuing to pursue an asylum claim.
- The administration has also announced that, going forward, it will detain parents and children together, indefinitely, in clear violation of existing rules.
Despite the Trump fearmongering over immigration, most Americans believe immigration is good for the country, and the number who buy the Trump administration’s line continues to decline.
Opposition to Trump’s anti-immigrant vendetta is building across the country, not just in big cities and not just among Democrats. Eleven states have ended National Guard deployment on the border, due to concerns over the Trump administration’s family separation policies. Small towns, including Lanesboro, Minnesota and Antler, North Dakota joined in last Saturday’s protests.
Quote of the Day from Sally Jo Sorenson’s Bluestem Prairie blog:
“Those who view Greater Minnesota as a place peopled by fear-ridden residents cowering in corners fretting about the next jumping jihadist might consider a recent news report that suggests quite the opposite might be the case.”
The headline for her July 3 post makes the point in numbers: in western Minnesota, “Willmar’s “Welcoming is Who We Are, Faith not Fear” draws 5 times more than unwelcome event.”