By Jon Dougherty
Illegal immigration into the United States is rising so fast it is now on pace to triple this year, according to recent figures, even as Trump administration officials sound the alarm bells.
In February alone — a short month — there were more than 76,000 illegal border crossings and inadmissible foreign nations, which is a record for POTUS Donald Trump’s administration and the highest level in a year.
That has led Princeton Policy Advisor Steven Kopits to project illegal crossings along the U.S.-Mexico border will likely be more than three times higher than they were in 2017 and about double last year’s total.
In the month of February, there were more than 76,000 illegal border crossings and inadmissible foreign nationals, the most in this month in 12 years — a record for President Trump’s administration.
His projection of 840,000 illegal crossers this year is astounding but it actually falls short of what Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is projecting: 900,000.
Frankly, say experts, those figures will overwhelm any existing capacity the United States has remaining to deal with them.
“Crossings are now clearly at crisis levels, and the pressure will be on Democrats in Congress to tighten asylum laws if they intend to hold the House in 2020,” Kopits said, Breitbart News reported.
I would note that migrants are also certainly aware of this, and therefore apprehension numbers could rise substantially heading into the summer months as migrants rush to cross the border before new legislation can be prepared.”
The rise in illegal crossings comes as the Trump administration has been stymied by Congress and federal courts in virtually everything it has tried in terms of stemming the tide. The addition of active duty and Guard troops has been about the only thing that the president has been able to do in terms of beefing up border security, and even then, blue state governors have refused to contribute their own Guard forces.
The administration lost another federal court battle this week over its attempt to withhold funding from sanctuary cities.
It’s not as if DHS and immigration officials aren’t trying to get Congress’ attention. Kevin McAleenan, the commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that in addition to more resources, Congress needed to change laws as well.
Specifically, he said the Border Patrol should be able to detain families as a unit, which is currently prohibited under the government’s interpretation of existing law. Also, Congress should reform the asylum laws and make it easier for immigration officials to send illegal border crossers back to their home countries.
McAleenan said that “63 percent of our traffic at the border would be addressed by a change in the laws.”
Meanwhile, Nielson told the House Homeland Security Committee that her department is straining under a lack of resources to deal with the human waves.
“Our capacity is already severely strained, but these increases will overwhelm the system entirely,” Nielsen said. “This is not a manufactured crisis. This is truly an emergency.”
Majority Democrats, however, didn’t want to hear that, however.
“The secretary can choose whether to be complicit in this administration’s misinformation campaign, or she can correct the record,” said Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., who asked her not to ‘repeat the president’s lies’ on the matter.
The Democrat-controlled House has already voted to rescind POTUS Trump’s emergency declaration along the U.S. border, and the GOP-controlled Senate appears set to pass the legislation as well. That will set up Trump’s first veto, but at this point, there’s no indication the veto will be sustained.
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