Tal Kopan and David Shortell report:
“Washington (CNN)–Apprehensions at the southern border continue to fall dramatically, according to new numbers from Customs and Border Protection — a drop that experts attribute to President Donald Trump’s aggressive immigration enforcement policies.
There were roughly 12,000 total apprehensions at the southwest border in March, according to numbers obtained by CNN that are expected to be released this week. That represents a 35% drop from February and a 63% drop from March 2016.
In 17 years of CBP data, apprehensions had never dropped from February to March, typically rising slightly.
Former Acting Customs and Border Patrol Commissioner David Aguilar said Tuesday at a hearing in front of the Senate’s Homeland Security Committee that through the end of March, immigration officials have seen a 67% drop in illegal crossings from Mexico as compared to the same period last year.
Aguilar attributed the drop to Trump’s hardline position on immigration — a focal point of his campaign and the first few weeks of his presidency.
“This has happened before when — as it relates especially to immigration — when the US stands strong and takes certain actions,” Aguilar said. “This administration said we’re going to address illegal immigration. ICE has started working in the interior unlike other times. So that message resonates.”
I haven’t seen anything that would rebut the case that the “get tough on enforcement” approach is reducing pressure on the border. If this approach is already working so well, why do we need to spend billions on a wall?