A Growing Border Crisis - A report from Arizona

31 May 2019

A Growing Border Crisis - A report from Arizona, by John Wahala, Center for Immigration Studies, May 24, 2019:

Amidst recent talk of growing caravans and states of emergency, the Center for Immigration Studies completed its eighth border tour earlier this spring, traveling in the Border Patrol's Tucson Sector, from Nogales, Ariz., to the New Mexico state line.

On the ever changing border, the latest national story is the exponential increase in the number of people making credible fear claims in hopes of getting asylum, something that was not happening a few years ago. While the Tucson Sector has yet to experience the crush of asylum seekers that are arriving in the Rio Grande Valley, the numbers are increasing, as are the number of overall apprehensions. To the west in Yuma, the mayor has declared a state of emergency to handle the growing influx. To the east, undeveloped parts of New Mexico are seeing large numbers of illegal crossers and drug smugglers for perhaps the first time. The pressure being exerted on the surrounding areas of the border has prompted authorities who lack detention space to bus apprehended migrants to Tucson for release rather than let them go in areas that are already overwhelmed.

Even the New York Times has acknowledged this growing crisis. A broadening interpretation of the asylum law coupled with the policy of releasing migrants with children has set off a new chain of migration extending deep into Central America and beyond. At a Catholic shelter in Agua Prieta, in the Mexican state of Sonora opposite the Arizona town of Douglas, a woman traveling with her sister and young son told us they came from the state of Guerrero, more than 1,000 miles to the south, where an uncle relayed news of his asylum in the United States. His successful claim set off a local movement north. When asked if she would be willing to settle in a safer part of Mexico the woman replied with an emphatic no, her goal was to move to the United States. Such intent, of course, violates the point of asylum law, which is to secure immediate protection for individuals who are fleeing specific types of persecution and have no other options. There were many other nationalities represented at the shelter, including a young couple from Russia who were vacationing in Cancun before deciding to head all the way to Agua Prieta to apply for U.S. asylum because they heard the lines were much shorter than at other ports of entry along the border.

Most of the families that are being released into the United States are simply not eligible for asylum. What is worse is that some of the "family units" are not families at all. A top Border Patrol agent told us they apprehend men traveling with children who have either been kidnapped or bribed along the way. The men know that showing up with a child improves their chances of avoiding detention. Authorities are left with the sad and unenviable task of figuring out what to do with these children.    

No amount of border enforcement can stem this growing influx....

Read the complete report: A Growing Border Crisis - A report from Arizona.

New Surge - Migrant Apprehensions at Border Hit 144K in May, Says CBP, Breitbart, June 5, 2019.