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What You Need to Know About the Surge in Illegal Border Crossings and the Failures of Our Current Immigration System

3 minute read

WHAT: Recently, there has been a significant surge in illegal border crossings. Making matters worse, loopholes continue to prevent the removal of many illegal aliens.  

From April 2017 to April 2018, the number of illegal border crossings more than tripled. April 2018 was also the second month in a row that saw more than 37,000 individuals apprehended after entering the country illegally along our Southwest border.  The need to enforce our laws, secure our border, and close our immigration loopholes has been further underscored by the recent arrival of a “caravan” of individuals seeking to enter the United States.

Efforts to remove aliens once they illegally cross our border are hampered by glaring flaws in current statutory law and activist judicial constraints. As a result, many aliens are apprehended and temporarily detained after illegally entering, only to be quickly released into the interior of the United States.

Historically, all family units apprehended at the border have been released with little more than a paper order to appear in court at a later date. Often, they never to appear. Current law also makes it virtually impossible to return most apprehended Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) to their home countries.

Judicial rulings by activist courts have even made it virtually impossible to remove many dangerous criminal aliens.  The result of these loopholes is that aliens can illegally enter the United States, and make then fraudulent asylum claims, with the expectation that they will be released into U.S. society and never appear in court.  This breakdown has contributed to judicial backlogs of more than 690,000 active cases and a deportation backlog of more than 1 million cases.

In addition, Federal immigration officials must deal with sanctuary jurisdictions that continue to openly and lawlessly obstruct efforts to enforce our Nation’s immigration laws. Sanctuary jurisdictions, such as the State of California, often refuse requests to detain criminal illegal aliens for even short periods of time in order to assist Federal officials.

Some jurisdictions are even passing laws that would punish local law enforcement who work with Federal officials. As a result, convicted criminal aliens and those charged with serious crimes have avoided removal and have been released from law enforcement custody and back onto the street where they can prey on innocent American families and children. Sanctuary jurisdictions also endanger the safety of Federal agents who must apprehend these dangerous fugitives after their release.

WHY: Congress must take real action to secure our border and close the loopholes in our immigration system.

Legislative action to secure our border and fix our immigration system has been repeatedly obstructed by Senate Democrats. Chuck Schumer and other Senate Democrats like Jon Tester have stood in the way of legislation that would have closed loopholes in our immigration system, provided the resources needed to secure our border, and strengthened the ability of law enforcement to protect public safety. They have also blocked legislative efforts to crack down on dangerous sanctuary jurisdictions, including “Kate’s Law,” which is named after the late Kate Steinle, an American who was killed by an illegal alien with a lengthy criminal history.

President Trump has consistently called upon Congress to take action. In October 2017, President Trump sent a series of immigration priorities to Congress. The President also released an immigration framework in January 2018. These proposals, if enacted into law, would have secured our porous border and addressed many of the key problems in our immigration system.

President Trump has made clear that action must be taken, and is demanding that Congress provide the authorities and funds necessary to fully and finally secure the border.