Decline in migration under Trump could quickly reverse, history shows

3/10/2017 Reuters

Border fence by couchlearnerLast month’s 40 percent decline in migrant detentions along the southern U.S. border represents a victory for U.S. President Donald Trump, but may prove short-lived unless he follows through with his hard-line vows, past experience shows.

Trump’s administration on Wednesday trumpeted the February decline as evidence its executive orders on immigration were working, fulfilling his promise to crush illegal migration.

But an analysis of recent U.S. apprehension data, along with interviews with migrants, diplomats and activists, suggests peoples’ fears will subside if Trump fails to realize his tough policies, causing the flow to rise.

“Right now, nobody wants to go” to the United States, said Victoria Cordova, who along with her daughter Genesis, was part of the first group of mothers and children deported by plane from the United States to Honduras in 2014.

“If in the future the situation looks better, well, I imagine then people will be more willing to travel.”

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On Both Sides Of The Mexican Border, Fear Grows For U.S.-Bound Migrants

3/12/2017 Reuters

John Moore/Getty Images

Along a barren dirt road, Border Patrol agents spot a mother and son, carrying nothing as they walk along the river’s edge. The sun beats down on them as the patrol car pulls up.

“Where are you from?” Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Marlene Castro asks the mother. “How much did you pay to get here?”

Recent statistics from the Department of Homeland Security show “an unprecedented decline” in the numbers of people crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally. It announced a 40 percent drop from January to February, and credited the Trump administration’s tough actions on immigration as the cause.

But in this corner of south Texas, every day still sees migrants trying to make it to the United States.

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‘A gift to human traffickers’: report warns of dangers of Trump immigration policy

3/10/2017 The Guardian

migrantesDonald Trump’s hardline approach to immigration has been branded a “gift to human traffickers” amid concerns that stricter deportation and border regulations will push undocumented migrant workers underground, putting them at greater risk of slavery and human rights abuses.

The new administration’s immigration policy – which hinges on the construction of a US-Mexico border wall and immediate repatriation of illegal immigrants – will force criminal networks to use more costly and potentially more dangerous trafficking routes by air and sea, say global risk analysts Verisk Maplecroft.

According to a report by the company, the controversial stance adopted by the White House towards migrant workers and immigration will be a major driver of human rights risks for business in 2017.

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Growing signs of trouble for Trump’s border wall


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President Donald Trump’s plan for a border wall is showing more cracks.

Trump is claiming that the ambitious — and hugely controversial — construction plan is “way, way, way ahead of schedule,” but in reality, there is growing evidence that Trump’s central campaign pledge is in political peril.

Illegal crossings are down at the U.S.-Mexico border, removing some of the justification for erecting the wall as soon as possible. Trump’s budget chief says the administration still doesn’t know what the wall will be made out of. Trump’s executive order directing federal agencies to identify cost savings to fund the wall sparked a diplomatic crisis with Mexico’s president during his first week in office, but so far found only $20 million in existing funds to finance what is likely a $20 billion-plus project. Now, his administration is floating controversial cuts to the Transportation Safety Administration and the Coast Guard to fund the wall’s construction.

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Till death do us part: US, Mexico inextricably linked

3/9/2017 The Hill

By Duncan Wood, Director, Mexico Institute

us mex flagIt has often been noted that the U.S.-Mexico relationship is like a marriage — it has its ups and downs, disputes and romances, but, essentially, the two countries are tied together.

Nonetheless, abusive language can be highly destructive. While the recent turmoil in the relationship may not be lead to divorce, there is a very real danger of estrangement if the two nations do not receive the right counseling.

The current marital conflict has far-reaching impacts, and the urgency of reaffirming the bilateral relation transcends the diplomatic rhetoric of the need for mere peaceful coexistence between neighboring nations.

Trump Considering Security Funding Cuts to Pay for Mexico Border Wall

3/9/2017 Voice of America

border1U.S. President Donald Trump is weighing funding cuts for the country’s Coast Guard, its natural disaster emergency agency, and airport security arm so he will have money to start building a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border and crack down on illegal immigration.

Trump vowed during his run to the White House to build the 3,200-kilometer wall to thwart illegal immigrants from Mexico and Central American.

But now, Trump is faced with finding money to fund the massive project. He has estimated the wall would cost $12 billion, although the Homeland Security Agency says the cost could be as much as $21.6 billion.

Figures released Wednesday by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials show a 40 percent drop in illegal border crossings from January to February at the country’s southern border as measured by apprehensions. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said in a statement that since Trump took office January 20 there has been a dramatic drop in the numbers of those trying to cross illegally into the United States.

Although Trump has yet to present a government budget proposal to Congress, a draft of his spending priorities related to the wall is circulating among Washington officials for their comments, with vocal opposition expected from the agencies targeted for funding cuts.

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US hails ‘40% drop’ in illegal immigrants from Mexico

3/9/2017 BBC News

border_at_tijuana-tomas-castelazoThe number of illegal immigrants crossing into the US from Mexico went down by 40% from January to February, according to the US government.

Homeland Security chief John Kelly said the “change in trends” was a result of Donald Trump’s tough policies.

The president has signed an executive order for an “impassable physical barrier” on the US-Mexico border and issued new guidance on deportations.

The measures have been condemned by Mexico as “hostile” and “unacceptable”.

An estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants live in the US, many from Mexico.

Mr Kelly said on Wednesday that the number of “inadmissible persons” crossing the US-Mexico border had dropped this year from 31,578 to 18,762 in January to February – a period when the number of arrests of illegal immigrants normally increases.

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