BORDER SECURITY SOLUTIONS: President Trump has put forth an immigration framework that lays out the steps needed to secure our borders.
- It is imperative that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has the resources it needs to prevent illegal immigration, remove individuals who have already illegally entered the United States, and protect our national security.
- Finally securing our Southern and Northern borders will require a combination of physical infrastructure, technology, personnel, resources, authorities, and the closing of legal loopholes.
- The President’s immigration framework lays out the minimum resources and tools required to deter rampant illegal immigration into the U.S.
CURRENT STATE OF OUR BORDERS: While President Trump has taken decisive action to increase border security and curb illegal immigration, it is time for Congress to do its part and provide the resources needed to secure our borders.
- In the first months of President Trump’s Administration, from January 21 to April, illegal migration across the Southwest border declined sharply.
- Beginning in May of 2017, the U.S. began seeing a month-to-month increase in apprehensions along the Southwest border.
- December 2017 marked the eighth month in a row of an increase in Southwest border apprehensions.
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reported 310,531 apprehensions by Border Patrol agents in fiscal year (FY) 2017.
- U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) made more than 140,000 arrests and more than 225,000 removals in FY 2017.
- From the start of President Trump’s administration, January 20, 2017, through the end of FY 2017, ERO made 110,568 arrests compared to only 77,806 in FY 2016.
- The steady increase in the flow of unaccompanied children and family units from Central America continues to be a concern.
- Family unit apprehensions by Border Patrol agents at the Southwest border grew from 1,118 in April 2017 to 8,121 in December 2017, an increase of more than 600 percent.
- Unaccompanied minor apprehensions by Border Patrol agents at the Southwest border grew from 997 in April 2017 to 4,083 in December 2017, an increase of more than 300 percent.
- There is strong public support for increased border security measures according to a recent poll conducted by Harvard-Harris.
- 61 percent of those polled believe that our current border security is inadequate.
- A majority of those polled, 54 percent, support building a combination of physical and electronic barriers across our Southwest border.
SECURE BORDERS, SECURE COMMUNITIES: Securing our borders will help safeguard the safety of our communities and curb the flow of illegal drugs into the United States.
- Border security is key to preventing the flow of illegal drugs into the U.S. and ensuring the safety of our communities.
- CBP officers and Border Patrol agents arrested 20,131 criminal aliens in FY 2017, as well as an additional 10,908 individuals who were wanted by law enforcement.
- ICE ERO arrested 105,736 criminal aliens in FY 2017.
- This represented a nearly 12 percent increase from FY 2016 to FY 2017.
- In FY 2017, U.S. Border Patrol Agents arrested 536 illegal aliens affiliated with a gang, of which 228 were affiliated with MS-13, or more than 40 percent of those arrested.
- Most attempts to smuggle illicit contraband into the U.S. occur along the Southern border.
- According to the Department of Justice and Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Drug Threat Assessment, Mexico is believed to be a major source of heroin and methamphetamine in the U.S. and the main transit point for U.S. bound cocaine.
- Illegal drug shipment seizures have increased significantly over the past three years.
- Approximately two pounds of fentanyl were seized by CBP in FY 2013, compared to approximately 1,485 pounds seized in FY 2017.
- U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) also seized 2,370 pounds of fentanyl in FY 2017.