The Obama Administration has tried to give the impression for some time that it has secured the Mexican border against illegal immigration. Three years ago, then-Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano stated, “The border is better now than it ever has been.” She based her claim on the sharp decline of apprehensions of illegal aliens by the Border Patrol, a measure commonly used to gage the overall flow of illegal immigration.
But the administration, with its neglect of immigration law enforcement, is scarcely responsible for this decline, which began before Obama took office and continued as the result of the greatest economic downturn the U.S. has suffered since the Great Depression. In any case, the administration has seen fit to claim credit for the drop-off – in hope of using that as a selling point for its agenda to grant amnesty to illegal aliens. The idea is that with border control getting better, we now can afford to be lenient with the 11 million or so illegal aliens already here.
But wait a minute. Since Napolitano made her statement in 2011, claiming that the border was better, there’s been a lot of border activity. In fiscal 2011, there were 340,255 apprehensions. In fiscal 2013, the total was 420,789, almost a 24 percent increase. Admittedly, this is far less than the nearly 1 million apprehensions before the recession, but it is a disturbing up-turn.
What’s causing it? Although illegal immigration from Mexico apparently has declined, the flow of unauthorized border crossers from Central America is picking up. Reports say economic conditions are improving in Mexico, but there are still plenty of countries where poverty far exceeds that of Mexico. With the Obama Administration constantly pitching amnesty and undermining enforcement, the word probably is getting around that slipping across the U.S. border is at least worth a try.
Rising apprehensions are not the only indicator that border security isn’t close to what it should be. Testimony from first-hand observers confirms this view. Says Sheriff Paul Babeu of Pinal County in Arizona: “The Border is not secure. I’m telling you that as somebody on the ground, as someone who experiences it every day. [It] is a lie being peddled by those who must convince the American people that it is secure, and everything is just fine.”
If amnesty passes it will invite more foreigners to break our laws. And adding to the invitation will be a border not so difficult to cross.