This is not breaking news ... most people have heard it, but it is well to keep it in mind. President Trump may not need to rush to build the wall between Mexico and the U.S.
That is because he has ordered the strict enforcement of immigration laws, which has slowed the flow of illegal immigrants into the United States by some 76 percent.
Instead of building a wall right now, he is building and expanding detention centers to keep illegal border-crossers until they can be legally deported.
You may or may not think that is a good thing, depending on where you stand on the illegal immigrant question, but the facts are clear: The Obama days of winking and nodding at the ever-growing flow of illegal immigrants is over.
“When you get here, it is likely you are going to get caught. You are going to be returned to your country,” Homeland Security Spokesman David Lapan told The Washington Times in early May.
Apprehensions of illegal border crossers have dropped dramatically. The Tucson sector used to record some 70,000 apprehensions a month. In May, that number was down to about 1,500.
This has caused tremendous governmental angst in Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, countries which attempt to get rid of their poverty problems by shipping them north.
Those are cruel policies, basically the result of communist, socialist or extreme right-wing governments — all of which claim to be democracies but which actually are totalitarian setups that are democratic in name only.
The poverty in those countries is largely the fault of the governments that rule them.
Take the Republic of Honduras — please. That unfortunate country’s constitution, adopted in 1982, has been amended many times, mainly to try to prevent any reforms. In just 2016, the Honduran Supreme Court struck down several constitutional articles that would have established presidential term limits. Meaning, of course, that totalitarians could run the country for as long as they could hold power through force.
Here is what the CIA’s World Fact Book says about the Honduran economy:
“Honduras, the second-poorest country in Central America, suffers from extraordinarily unequal distribution of income, as well as high underemployment. While historically dependent on the export of bananas and coffee, Honduras has diversified its export base to include apparel and automobile wire harnessing.”
It is no wonder that Hondurans, particularly the young, think of little else than trying to escape the poverty prison of their country and head north.
They go first to El Salvador, where they find no opportunity or relief; then on to Guatemala, then finally to Mexico, which can’t get rid of them fast enough.
Other countries feel we should be quicker to help these poor people — and Obama tried, without solving the other side of the question, which is: How can this country absorb such an influx without harming itself?
Now, the turnstile is going the other way.
We don’t have a good enough system of helping qualified immigrants into the United States legally. The rules are outdated.
Trump’s policies have created a pause. Let’s hope the Congress can use that time to re-craft better immigration policies.