DHS: Sharp Decline in Border Crossings Under Trump

Illegal border crossings are reportedly down 76 percent since President Donald Trump took office.  According to April numbers from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, just over 11,000 illegal aliens were apprehended last month, the lowest monthly figure in decades.

“Just the president's rhetoric, just the perception that he's going to get tough on illegal immigration appears to have discouraged a lot of people from coming,” says Dr. Steven Camarota, director of research at the Center for Immigration Studies.

Camarota says the numbers reveal that immigration is a choice, not a necessity.

“There's a common mistake on immigration that people have no choice.  They have to come.  They're compelled to come by conditions in their home country,” he says.  “But the truth is usually much more complex.  People are doing a calculation, the difference between what it would cost personally in many ways to come versus stay.”

The number of unaccompanied children also dropped below 1,000 in April, a level not seen since before the "surge" under President Obama's second term.

“It doesn't mean people don't face difficult circumstances, but it does tell us it's not as if you have no other choice,” says Camarota.  “Very often they can stay where they are, but they prefer to come.”

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