Ellis: Bringing Reality to the Border Discussion

A group of Central American migrants climb the border fence between Mexico and the United States, near El Chaparral border crossing, in Tijuana, Mexico, Nov. 25, 2018. A group of Central American migrants climb the border fence between Mexico and the United States, near El Chaparral border crossing, in Tijuana, …
Pedro Pardo/AFP/Getty Images
CURTIS ELLIS

It’s time to bring the debate over border security back to reality. The reality is some 66,000 people have crossed our southern border illegally just since January first.

Don’t take my word for it – those are the Department of Homeland Security’s own numbers.

Now, there’s a real-time tracker using DHS numbers so everyone can follow the crisis on our southern border in real time.

This tracker created by America First Policies shows that every 48 seconds someone tries to cross the southern border illegally outside a port of entry. The DHS Border Security Metrics Report from May 1, 2018 tells us one in three avoids apprehension and makes it through.

We created this tracker to bring the discussion over border security back to reality. Radical freshman Democrats claim Homeland Security is “driven by hate” and would eliminate all border enforcement.

Chuck Schumer says the symbol of America should be the Statue of Liberty not a Wall.  The #Resistance treats the border as a symbol.

This is not a college debate about symbolism – it’s about reality.

The reality is some 55 thousand illegal aliens try to cross the southern border every month. In six months, that’s more than the entire population of Cincinnati.

The reality is about controlling who enters our country – and what it takes to stop the uncontrolled flow of illegal aliens that’s happening now, every second, every minute.

Unfortunately, so far the leaders of the Democratic Party are more interested in placating their radicals and playing #Resistance politics than in working with the president to address the crisis.

As a result, human traffickers, coyotes and drug smugglers are deciding who enters our country.

Because we don’t control who is coming across the border, people are dying – at the border, on the way to our border and across America.

Dangerous criminals who would never be allowed in legally are endangering our communities. Deadly drugs are killing our people at a devastating rate. Customs and Border Protection apprehended 17,000 criminals at the border in 2017. They also stopped an average of ten suspects on the terrorist watch list every day.

That’s not to say everyone who crosses illegally is a violent criminal, a drug mule or a terrorist.  But even those who aren’t end up costing Americans.

They immediately have a claim on schools, hospitals and emergency services. According to a study by the Pew Hispanic Center, “Children of unauthorized immigrants are 6.8 percent of students enrolled in kindergarten through grade 12.”  58% of non-citizen households are on welfare.

Nearly half of the illegal aliens, 47%, have not finished high school.  They usually end up taking jobs that would otherwise be filled by Americans at the lower end of the pay scale, disproportionately African-Americans, Hispanics and the handicapped. A flood of low-paid, low-skill immigrants affects everyone even in occupations that don’t have a high percentage of immigrant workers. Harvard immigration economist George Borjas documents how those displaced by illegal immigrants will take whatever other jobs they can find, driving down wages in other sectors.

As our tracker shows, the number of illegal crossings continues to grow by the minute.  Every 48 seconds, to be exact.

This is a call to action for everyone, Democrat or Republican, who claims to support border security. It is time to step up, secure our border and protect Americans’ safety and well being. How many illegal crossings will it take?

The America First Policies numerical tracker shows the illegal immigration crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border in real-time. It is based on the DHS Southwest Border Apprehensions for Fiscal Year 2018 and the first two months of Fiscal Year 2019 (October & November 2018). It incorporates the metric from DHS Border Security Metrics Report May 1, 2018 that estimates the Border Patrol has a 64.8% apprehension rate for illegal entrants between ports of entry on the southwestern border in 2016. (Table 1, page 11.)

Just in the time it took you to read this essay, at least two more people have crossed our southern border illegally.

It’s time for Washington to come together and do what is necessary to secure the border once and for all.

Curtis Ellis is Senior Policy Advisor with America First Policies. He was a senior policy advisor with the Donald J. Trump campaign.

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