The Border Patrol reported a 10 percent increase in the apprehension of illegal aliens at the border in June, with arrests of apprehension of families and unaccompanied alien minors showing substantial increases. The recent uptick of illegals, most of them from Central America, comes despite an overall reduction in border apprehensions from about a year ago.
Ira Mehlman, media director for the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), says the problem is that the Trump administration has so far not eliminated the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), established in 2012 by President Obama. “What you’re likely seeing now is the response to the administration’s indicating that they’re going to continue DACA,” Mehlman explains. “The perception is that if you come and bring children to the United States, that we’re going to allow you to stay.” Mehlman describes DACA as “constitutionally questionable.”
Mehlman says this perception on the part of illegals is what makes the difference. “If people believe that coming to the United States illegally is going to result in being admitted and being allowed to stay,” he points out, “then you’re going to see a lot more people coming to the United States illegally .”
Mehlman says it’s up to the administration to clarify its position on the consequences of violating the border. “If they make it clear that we’re not simply going to allow people to show up at the border and admit them, no matter how much empathy we may feel for the situation that they’re in,” he says, “ the numbers will go down, or plateau at a low level.”
Mehlman says the state is prepared to take action if the federal government doesn’t. “Attorney General [Ken] Paxton of Texas has indicated that if the administration is not prepared to act on its own to terminate the DACA program,” he points out, “come September, he and nine other attorneys general from around the country are going to bring a suit similar to the one that defeated the other executive amnesty programs introduced by President Obama.”