U.S. Customs and Border Protection data suggests the administration’s asylum policy has changed migrant tactics – with greater numbers trying their luck at crossing the border illegally rather than complying with immigration authorities at designated ports of entry.
The Daily Caller’s Jason Hopkins has more:
The proportion of foreign nationals attempting to cross the border illegally rather than reporting to legal ports of entry has risen in the past year, according to the data. Those crossing illegally made up 73 percent of all border crossings from October 2017 to January 2018 and then rose to 83 percent for the same period of time ending on Jan. 31, 2019, NBC News reported Friday.
At the same time, the percentage of foreign nationals intentionally reaching out to border enforcement establishments dropped from 27 percent to 17 percent.
The new numbers come in the wake of President Donald Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy. The policy enacted in December 2018 dictates that foreign nationals who seek asylum at the southern border cannot enter the U.S. and must remain in Mexico while their case makes it through the immigration courts — a process that could take months to years.
The directive does not apply to children or Mexican asylum seekers. It largely targets the dramatic influx of Central American migrants who have tried to enter into the country through the U.S.-Mexico border. Immigrant rights advocates are attempting to fight the policy in court.
The Department of Homeland Security notes a silver lining, explaining that migrants who abandon legitimate asylum claims unintentionally increase the likelihood of those who are lawful of receiving sanctuary and far earlier than expected.