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Illegal Immigration Plummets In New Year

New data shows that illegal immigration has dropped by three-quarters in the new year.

The migrant processing hub center in El Paso acts as a kind of pulse for the overall border situation. The massive soft-walled facility is where other migrant centers send their overflow. Sites like Del Rio, Eagle Pass, and those in southern Arizona regularly bus or fly migrants when there is no more room for them locally as border crossers matriculate through the asylum and refugee system.

So, it’s important when the El Paso facility sees a massive drop in population. Two weeks ago, there were 4,800 migrants in El Paso, a number that looked to grow as a surge of migrants headed to the border around new year. Now, that number is down to 1,246. Daily apprehensions have also dropped by two thirds.

Several actions by the Biden Administration have likely contributed to the drop in migration. Contrary to the popular talking point from Gov. Greg Abbott that Biden has abdicated all border security, the Border Patrol has stepped up apprehension and deportation activities. In addition, negotiations with Mexico, Venezuela, and other countries has slowed immigration and streamlined the asylum seeking process before migrants reach the border.

Notably, a migrant caravan that made headlines for its size that was headed north as Christmas approached, ultimately ended in Mexico. In keeping with Mexico’s new deal with the Biden Government, the 3,000 migrants received documents allowing them to stay and travel in the country.

Despite the drop, anti-migrant rhetoric and conspiracy theories are likely to ramp up again soon. As the new congressional session starts, budget matters are being held up by Republicans over a variety of issues, including immigration. Several conservative congress members are demanding stricter limits on legal immigration and asylum seeking, catering to popular and often racially-charged claims against people from Central and South America.

The fall in migration probably has little to do with Abbott’s Operation Lone Star. His deployment of enhanced border activities have included massive standing missions of the Texas National Guard, arrests of dubious constitutionality, installation of barriers in the Rio Grande that violate international treaties, and razor wire fences that have prevented the Border Patrol from carrying out their duties. Consistently, migration has actually increased in places Operation Lone Star has been most active, not decreased.

It is almost certain that there will be an increase in migration at some point over the next year. Many people travel north to work in American farms during the harvest, though the brutal summers have made the treks even more dangerous in recent years.

However, if efforts by the Mexican government and other nations to process migrants before they reach the United States continue, it could mean that the overwhelming of local resources seen over the past couple of years may be a thing of the past. 

Jef Rouner
Jef Rouner
Jef Rouner is an award-winning freelance journalist, the author of The Rook Circle, and a member of The Black Math Experiment. He lives in Houston where he spends most of his time investigating corruption and strange happenings. Jef has written for Houston Press, Free Press Houston, and Houston Chronicle.


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