Posted by Curt on 11 May, 2017 at 6:38 pm. 1 comment.


William Lajeunesse:

After years of surging immigration from Central America, law enforcement in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley are finally seeing some relief, thanks in part to President Trump’s strong rhetoric.

“Words matter,” said Christopher Sabatini, an expert in Latin American affairs at Columbia University in New York City. “The rhetoric has mattered. There is a sense of fear that immigrant families, without legal status, without papers are going to be sent back down.”

That fear prompted a dramatic change in behavior among illegal immigrants that few predicted. For three years, a flood of unaccompanied children, women and families made the hazardous trek north from Hondurans, El Salvador and Guatemala, through Mexico to the U.S. Border. Now they are not coming.

“We’re at a trickle,” said Chris Cabrera, with the National Border Council. “It hasn’t stopped but it’s slowed considerably that we’re at a point where we have empty cells now.”

That added bed space is allowing Immigration and Customs Enforcement to hold immigrants longer. Previously, Central American immigrants turned themselves in, claimed asylum and were released.

In most cases, the Obama Administration accommodated the claim by placing the applicant on a court docket with a two- to three-year waiting list. In the meantime, most illegal immigrants were free to work while living with relatives. Some set down roots by getting married or having American-born children.

President Trump promised to end that ’catch and release’ policy, saying “anyone who illegally crosses the border will be detained until they are removed out of our country.”

Apparently that message got through thousands of miles away.

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