Trump’s hardline and explosive rhetoric regarding immigration has turned the “American dream” into “the Mexican dream.”
Border crossings are reportedly down 70 percent since Trump took office, as migrants from South and Central America, cognizant of Trump’s stance on immigration, have taken to halting in Mexico. The Mexican city of Monterrey, 113 miles south of the closest legal border crossing, has seen its population bolstered with 3,500 Central American immigrants doing jobs that the local media says “Mexicans won’t do.”
The new trend has led onlookers to coin the phrase “the Mexican dream,” with migrants finding the prospect of a better life just short of the United States border. The Mexican publication, El Financiero, has attributed the changes in Monterrey purely to Trump administration policies, reporting that, “This is due to the tightening of immigration policy in the United States that is making the metropolis an almost permanent refuge for about 3,500 Central American migrants.”
Kausha Luna of the Center for Immigration Studies also took notice of the decreased border crossings, writing, “With the tightening of border enforcement under the Trump administration, many Central Americans are choosing to stay in Mexico. Consequently, the Mexican city of Monterrey has become part of the new ‘American dream.'”
The difference in border crossing data between fiscal year 2016 and fiscal year 2017 is stark. 2017 saw a 19% decrease in apprehensions and inadmissible persons at ports of entry along the southwestern border. Luna warns this data still needs to be viewed critically, however, noting the difference between a short-term effect caused by Trump’s powerful rhetoric and a substantive effect born of actual, tangible policy.
Increases in illegal border crossings for the months of May and June of this year, after a consistent downward trend, give credence to the theory the trend may be temporary. But even with those increases, illegal immigration numbers are still significantly down.
Luna added, “The decision made by Central Americans to stay in Mexico may be attributed, at least in part, to the rhetoric of the Trump administration and its gradual return to immigration enforcement.”
National border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd recently stated that the huge drop in the number of illegal aliens crossing the border into the United States is “nothing short of miraculous.”
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