Only less than three months into office, President Donald Trump's tough stance on illegal immigration is bearing great results already. One of the success stories being felt this early is the dramatic decrease in Haitians illegally entering the U.S. border.
Only six months ago, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers guarding the ports were apprehending more than 100 Haitians a day. By March this year under President Trump, the number had dropped to just 100 for the entire month. Said decrease in the number of Haitians trying to enter the country illegally translates to a stunning 97 percent.
Rep. Duncan Hunter from California said all it took was a serious commitment of law enforcement to turn things around. Rep. Duncan knows what he speaks of since he was one of the first to expose the surge of Haitians last year and has closely followed the situation since then.
Hunter's chief of staff Joe Kasper credits the Trump administration for the dramatic decrease in the numbers of illegal Haitian immigrants. He said what a message of enforcement first signals to the rest of the world. Kasper added that it also proves how problematic the policies of the previous Obama administration were in comparison.
Kasper said they did everything before to warn the Obama administration about how serious the problem was on illegal immigration coming from Haiti, and how they have contributed to the mess. Kasper said they then proposed a solution that centered on strong leadership and good decision-making. But the Obama administration did not listen. Hunter's lead staff member is thankful for the change in the approach of the Trump administration leading to greater results. He also said that what made the accomplishment even more remarkable is that it was done so without needing to pass a single piece of legislation or providing new authorities.
The changes also include those outside Haitians, on illegal immigration as a whole. The number of "inadmissible" migrants showing up at U.S. ports of entry and demanding to be permitted to enter has dropped from more than 20,000 in October to about 4,400 in March. Such translates to an amazing drop of almost 80 percent.
The number of illegal immigrants apprehended while attempting to sneak into the U.S. between the ports is also down from more than 46,000 in October to a little more than 12,000 last month.
Most deportations from the U.S. to Haiti had been stopped since after the January 2010 killer earthquake that devastated the island nation, destroying widely the infrastructure of the poor country.
The disaster has also sent tens of thousands of Haitians escaping to South America to look for jobs. Many of them picked up temporary work helping Brazil prepare for soccer's 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games. The end of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics started the exit of the Haitians, and U.S. became a prominent target for the destination. Many migrants were encouraged by their families or relatives' reports about lax enforcement in the U.S. Many were even coached by their families on how to use asylum claim to reach and enter American soil.
Migrants were reportedly paying more than $2,300 for the journey which could last for several months.
Haitians trying to enter the U.S. get support from relatives who wire money to them to pay off smugglers or cover other transit costs. Illegally supporting the entry of Haitians into the U.S. were corrupt Mexican officials. Hunter was able to get video proving how Mexican officials were able to help Haitians enter the U.S.
Things took a dramatic change when Trump won, and especially when he was sworn into office. Over the past couple of months under the Trump administration, the U.S. deported more than 1,700 Haitians.
Now with the U.S. being tougher and refusing entry, Reuters reported that thousands of Haitians have ended up stuck in northern Mexico. The Haitians were hoping to get legal status from Mexico but the country said there were no immediate plans for a fresh round of legalization.