Months after the Trump Administration sounded the alarm about the crisis at the southern border, it continues. New figures show illegal immigration to the U.S. is on pace to double this year compared to last. The research from Princeton Policy Advisors projects that 843,000 illegal crossers will be apprehended at the southern border in 2019, but even more alarming is the projection that nearly 600,000 illegal aliens will successfully cross into the U.S. undetected this year.
More than 800,000 illegals have been apprehended at the border so far this fiscal year (since last October), the most since fiscal year 2008 saw more than 705,000 border apprehensions.
A big factor in these rising numbers is that Border Patrol is stretched so thin, according to Curtis Collier with U.S. Border Watch. "A large number of agents are not actually doing their prescribed job, but they're taking care of people already in custody, and processing and moving people around," he says. "So there are not as many agents actually on the border."
Border Patrol is also dealing constantly with sophisticated smugglers and coyotes. "These (smugglers) are professionals at what they do," says Collier. "They dry run to get Border Patrol and law enforcement responding to one area, and then they flood another area. They watch our agents as they leave the station so they know exactly how many are on the border at any given time, then they know how many (agents) went back to transport prisoners...so they know when to flood the border."
Despite the troubling projections on the border for 2019 overall, things may be trending up in the short-term. Border Patrol reports total monthly apprehensions dropped by 62 percent between May and August. President Trump has credited a new agreement with Mexico to crack down on migrants crossing its southern border, as well as accelerated construction on the border wall.