Immigration

Trump Doubles Down on His Fake Immigration Plans in Phoenix

His enforcement action has nothing to do with the drop in border apprehensions.

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President Donald Trump is a rabble-rouser and so, unsurprisingly, he roused the "rabble" in his campaign-style rally in Phoenix tonight. He all but pardoned

Wall
Jev55 via foter.com

Sheriff Arpaio—a "bad hombre" if ever there was one who was convicted not for "doing his job" as Trump claimed in his speech— but contempt of court for continuing to racially profile Hispanics in search of illegals after he was ordered by a judge to cease-and-desist. And that, btw, was among the nicer things that Arpaio did during his decades-long reign as Maricopa County sheriff before he was roundly defeated last year. The vile conditions in his jails, his violations of inmate rights, and his illegal anti-immigration sweeps have already cost the county millions and millions in legal fees and settlements. Trump can issue fake and belated condemnations of neo-Nazis all he wants, but as former Reason writer Radley Balko noted in his comprehensive summary of Arpaio's vile shenanigans, a pardon for Arpaio would be a "reassuring wink to racists" who love that man for the simple reason that he hates brown people.

In addition, Trump doubled down on his pledge to build a Big Beautiful Wall on the southern border (where 10 times more people died between 1997 and 2007 than during the entire existence of the Berlin Wall). And he credited his former Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly for cutting "people coming inside"— meaning illegally crossing the border—by "70 to 80 percent."

Both those things are red meat for his base, of course. But one could ask what would be the point of building the wall which would cost American taxpayers upwards of $20 billion (given that even Trump is no longer claiming that Mexico will pay for it), when border crossings have dropped "70 to 80 percent" without it? Talk about a good deal for America! Be that as it may, how plausible is it that Trump's harsh border enforcement since he assumed office is actually responsible for the alleged drop?

More plausible than if he'd claimed to have caused the solar eclipse yesterday. But not by a lot.

For starters, illegal border crossings started to nosedive a full nine years before Trump assumed office after they rose at the turn of this century for two reasons: One, in the early 2000s millions of young Mexican men entered the job market when their economy was rather anemic. By contrast, thanks to America's IT revolution, the American economy was roaring and jobs in construction, hospitality, and of course agriculture were booming. The push factors in Mexico and the pull factors in America prompted many Mexicans to make a schlep north without visas because America discontinued its 1965 barcero guest worker program.

But in 2008 the Great Recession descended upon this great land, as the housing bubble burst. At the same time, the Mexican economy picked up, partly because of NAFTA that Trump actually hinted tonight he would scrap. And the two things in tandem caused illegal border crossings to plummet.

There is no perfect measure for border crossings. But Cato Institute's David Bier points out that after 2009, the flow of illegals essentially flatlined. In 2016, each border agent nabbed fewer than 17 people over the course of the entire year. That's one apprehension every two and a half weeks of work – all of which is far less the 400 per agent per year from 1977 to 1986 or over 100 per agent per year in 2003 etc. (Check out some nifty graphs in the above link.) In other words, Bier notes, the "crisis" of illegal border crossings has been over for a decade.

Now, it is true that the apprehension numbers are down a bit since Trump assumed office – but not because Kelly kicked illegal ass as Trump claims.

Usually, illegals come to America in the spring months when construction, agriculture and tourism pick up. But when Trump got the Republican nomination last summer and escalated his harsh anti-immigration plans and started yammering about the Great Wall of Trump, they made an immediate winter-time run for the border. Indeed, apprehension numbers spiked twice last year, first in spring as usual, and then in November and December after Trump won. There were 90,000 more apprehensions from August 2016 to January 2017 than between August 2014 to January 2015. In other words, because illegals that wanted to come to America this year were already here by the time Trump assumed office, border apprehensions experienced a drop. But this situation will reverse itself if Trump scraps NAFTA and tanks the Mexican economy.

All of this suggests that Trump can bullshit all he wants about securing the border, but the fact of the matter is that immigration flows follow the logic of the economy more and border enforcement less. And there is not a damn thing Trump or anyone else can do about it except waste a whole lot of taxpayer money on a futile and nasty enforcement exercise that'll kill more people at the border without making Americans one iota safer.

NEXT: Brickbat: Nobody's Talking

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  1. “He all but pardoned Sheriff Arpaio”
    Trump said on Air Force One that he would not pardon Arpaio- who is not a sheriff anymore BTW.

    I am not in favor of harassing people and stopping them without probable cause but if a law enforcement person has that, feel free to ask about immigration status. You never have to talk to the police.

    On the rest of the ridiculous TDS by Shikha, well, Trump’s position to do something on illegal immigration has caused a decrease.

    1. Re: loveconstitutuon1789,

      I am not in favor of harassing people and stopping them without probable cause

      Arpaio’s goons weren’t merely stopping people without probable cause. They were actively harassing American citizens for looking like the Frito Bandito, for which the county has been bitch-slapped at the tune of 70 million dollars in lawsuits.

      I told many here including the Red Team Tony (aka John) when then governor Brewer signed a law allowing the police to inquire about a person’s legal status that what the law would achieve instead was police harassing American citizens who normally don’t go about their business carrying around their US passports or birth certificates and Arpaio’s actions proved my prediction right MANY times – like 70 million times.

    2. Shikha falsely compares arrests to numbers of illegals. This is like comparing hits to shots fired. Just because they missed the target doesn’t mean they’re not landing somewhere else.

  2. Another sad, hack piece by a sad hack.

  3. “In addition, Trump doubled down on his pledge to build a Big Beautiful Wall on the southern border (where 10 times more people died between 1997 and 2007 than during the entire existence of the Berlin Wall).”

    Is this what’s known as a non sequitur? My Latin is rusty.

    Guess why there were fewer deaths at the Berlin Wall? Because it was a massive, effective wall.

    Ironic that building a massive effective wall will reduce deaths, are you in favor of it now Shikha?

    And that’s as far as I got, because, Shikha.

    1. Theteid also that the people manning the Berlin Wall were actively killing crosses. People die at the US southern border because crossing a desert on foot is dangerous. They are not comparable situations.

      1. Damn right. Those East Berlin Guards were shooting those guys for their own good. Trying to reduce deaths.

        1. If they had made it to the fascist West, they would have received much worse treatment.

    2. It also seems material that the deaths at the Berlin Wall were due to guards shooting people while the deaths at our border are caused by CROSSING A FUCKING HOT, ARID AREA.

    3. It also seems material that the deaths at the Berlin Wall were due to guards shooting people while the deaths at our border are caused by CROSSING A FUCKING HOT, ARID AREA.

  4. “”””(where 10 times more people died between 1997 and 2007 than during the entire existence of the Berlin Wall).””””

    So not having a wall on the southern border causes more deaths then having a wall.

    1. I would gloat that I beat you by a minute, but really, who can criticize a great mind?

  5. Hi there from Europe. I did watch his speech on YouTube. It’s always fun to watch him, he is like a parody of himself.

    But seriously, his whole speech in fact just had one topic: “ego, ego, ego, ego, You treat me bad, media treat me bad, I am great, I make you great, I do better than everybody else, Obama, Clinton, ego, ego, ego..”

    I guess even a Jerry Springer show has a higher level.

    1. Hi from America! From a European ex pat.

      Nobody here gives a shit what you think. That’s why we left.

      Fuck off.

      1. Woooo… did I arrive at Breitbart by mistake?

        Give the guy a break.

  6. Crossings have dropped 80%?

    Great.

    Membership in the Nazi party has dropped 99.99% since 1945. You still seem quite obsessed over it.

    1. Are you saying that we shouldn’t obsess over either illegal immigrants and membership of the nazi party?

      I agree, actually. Although maybe I’m reading between the lines.

  7. Such a nasty woman.

    1. That fat orange drag queen who calls himself president?

      1. He has more money than you, bangs better chicks than you. Jealous?

        1. You literally had to pick the only gay leftist troll to pull that one on.

          Not to mention “better chick” is subjective. Melania is a 6 from the neck up.

      2. Since when has “drag queen” been an insult, Tony? You sound like you live under a rock somewhere.

  8. brown people

    Can we retire this tired phrase already?

    1. Can you?

      Be honest – CAN YOU?

      1. I’ve never used it in the first place because it’s vacuous virtue signalling.

        1. And of course people that virtue signal about virtue signaling hate virtue signalling soooomuch.

        2. Or a convenient way to categorize all the types of people on Trump’s hit list. Know of any non-brown people on that list? The Swedish menace perhaps?

  9. REASON doubles down on Shikha’s fake intellect.

  10. But when Trump got the Republican nomination last summer and escalated his harsh anti-immigration plans and started yammering about the Great Wall of Trump, they made an immediate winter-time run for the border.

    A planet where people act according to rational expectations?

    […] immigration flows follow the logic of the economy more and border enforcement less.

    But I’ve heard from wise Trumpistas that economic laws are bullshit and that a great orange ball of gas has the power to control economic activity to Male America Grating Again. Are they… *gasp*!… lying to me???

    1. Increasing the supply of labor will increase or decrease the market price of labor?

      1. Probably neither as increasing the supply of labor ALSO increases the demand. New people ALSO require goods and services,

        1. You’re really going to say that is a 1:1 ratio? Sorry, prog logic so math and common sense don’t apply.

        2. Good, break all of the windows in your house and you will create a job.

      2. You’ll find that the supply of migrant labor only goes up in response to demand. Despite the fact-free hysteria of anti-immigrant types, they aren’t coming here in search of jobs that don’t exist. That would be an awful waste of time and money on their party, after all. It remains the case that anti-immigrant moaning remained at hysteria levels even as illegal immigration has been at net zero.

        Because it’s not economics those racist fucks actually care about!

        1. Your right Tony its not just economics, thats just one part of a big picture. another part that many don’t like to talk about is the illegals that come here claiming that their goal is to return the South West back to Mexico, which in reality Mexico was a latter naming of a region claimed by a few who had no more rights to claim the land than anyone else but thats a subject for another argument.

          1. Re: Ron,

            […] another part that many don’t like to talk about is the illegals that come here claiming that their goal is to return the South West back to Mexico

            They don’t want to talk about it perhaps because they’re not insane.

            Some immigrants may harbor such idiotic thoughts they externalize after a few Coronas but the idea that most immigrants will give back the Southwest to Mexico is something that worries only people who hate Mexicans to begin with.

            1. La Raza (no nothing racist about that name!) and the Reconquistas…we could work with them. Maybe we negotiate to give them back California, we’ll keep Texas, and the other areas involved we can try to work something out.

          2. By that logic I’m here to try to return the place to Britain.

        2. Tony,

          You mean all the Syrians immigrating to Europe are just looking for work? What about all the Jews immigrating from France to Israel and Canada?

          You might have noticed the political unrest in Latin American countries over the last century that fueled a portion of immigration to the USA. People will immigrate when the prospects in the new country are better than the prospects in the old country. That does not necessarily mean that everything will be great in the new country.

  11. “Big Beautiful Wall on the southern border (where 10 times more people died between 1997 and 2007 than during the entire existence of the Berlin Wall)”

    the two are not comparable most deaths along the U.S. boarder are caused by dehydration and or crooked coyotes that leave their their smuggled immigrants in closed trucks, containers etc and its often done just to keep the money

    1. “Trump or anyone else can do about it except waste a whole lot of taxpayer money on a futile and nasty enforcement exercise that’ll kill more people at the border”

      Shikha’s article about the Berlin wall contradicts her closing statement, about killing more people. Facts don’t matter anymore to people like her

  12. “He all but pardoned Sheriff Arpaio”

    Translation – He didn’t pardon Arpaio, but I already wrote a rant assuming he did, and just can’t let it go to waste.

    “In addition” to the Zero Action of not pardoning Arpaio

    “Trump doubled down on his pledge to build a Big Beautiful Wall on the southern border”

    Translation – Asserted that he would fulfill a major campaign pledge. Words just mean nothing with Shikha. In what way did he “double down”? Is he going to make the wall twice as high? Make one on the Canadian Border?

    “but the fact of the matter is that immigration flows follow the logic of the economy more and border enforcement less. And there is not a damn thing Trump or anyone else can do about it ”

    Walls don’t work. That’s why Shikha lives in a tree, and we have free range prisons.

    1. You can’t be for small government and also for a 2,000 mile border wall at the same time.

      1. Controlling the borders is one of the few legitimate functions of the night watchman state.

        Thanks for playing.

        1. Re: buybuydandavis

          Controlling the borders is one of the few legitimate functions of the night watchman state.

          Even night watchmen know their limitations. The state is bound by none. You want to give Leviathan more power than it deserves?

          1. No.
            Read what you quoted from me.

            The level of cognitive dissonance is amazing. They can quote what I say, but can’t actually see it.

      2. That moment when contempt turns immediately into pity. This is the dumbest argument I’ve ever read.

      3. Tony, you can have a small government and also have statues and monuments of historical figures.

  13. in the early 2000s millions of young Mexican men entered the job market when their economy was rather anemic. By contrast, thanks to America’s IT revolution, the American economy was roaring and jobs in construction, hospitality, and of course agriculture were booming. The push factors in Mexico and the pull factors in America prompted many Mexicans to make a schlep north without visas because America discontinued its 1965 barcero guest worker program.

    I am all for a generous immigration policy as a matter of principle. Around a million immigration visa per year given by lottery seems right to me. However, I want to point out that the lack of a guest worker program isn’t the only reason we had trouble filling job openings.

    In the 2000’s we needed more American workers staring at a computer all day, building homes, and picking fruit. In the 1990’s stimulant use soared as millions of teenage boys got diagnosed with ADD or ADHD and put on drugs like Ritalin to increase their test scores instead of preparing for jobs in construction, agriculture, or IT. The diagnosis made teachers at government run schools no longer responsible for low test scores on standardized tests.

    We have a dynamic economy that can handle most disruptions. Young Mexicans jumping the border was a solution to a problem created in government run schools.

    1. It looks like technology is helping fix the shortage of construction workers. Plyscrapers are becoming more popular. These wooden buildings can reach 12 stories, and according to this article:

      Plyscrapers can be bolted together in days, and they require a fraction of the labor use to erect traditional steel-and-concrete high-rises. “You don’t need an experienced master carpenter to do this,” says Casey Malmquist, founder of Columbia Falls, Montana-based SmartLam, one of only two CLT manufacturers in the U.S. “It literally goes together like Lego.”

  14. The minority president has already admitted to the Mexican president that the wall is not important. He claims however that a failure to build it “would make him look bad.” In other words the president knows that the wall will not increase the safety or security of our borders or stop the flow of illegal arms and drugs but he is willing to saddle the American taxpayer with a wall costing billions in a purely cosmetic effort to improve his image. To add to the idiocy, the bully in chief threatened to close down the government if his wall wasn’t substantially funded. This move would cost the taxpayers even more billions. In short, as usual the Donald is concerned only about himself, the country be damned.

    1. In other words the president knows that the …

      In other words, let me project all my unsupportable claims into Trump’s mind because I can’t argue the issue on the merits.

    2. The Honolulu Rail Project has cost $10 Billion and now the governor of Hawaii wants to stop it, because the cost is too much. A $10 Billion project does not make national headlines these days if it is for rail. Cancelling two useless light rail projects would free up about enough money to build the wall, which is projected to cost $21.6 billion.

      1. Or we could, y’know, *not* play Boondoggle Musical Chairs.

    3. What ever the President may or may not be, he instinctively understands something that you apparently don’t.
      If you don’t have enforceable, controllable borders, you don’t have a country.
      Your post reads more like Liberal Whining than Libertarian Thought.

      Objecting to the government being shut down kinda gives your motives away.
      Not to mention using the word “Bully”

  15. I’m sure those Mexican rapists and child-murderers really appreciate that they’re dying of dehydration rather than GSWs from Soviet guard towers.

    I bet that provides them such solace in their last moments.

  16. Shikha,
    It is apparent that you do not live in Arizona. Your assessment of Joe Arpaio and his “nazi” tactics smack of the liberal left agenda that is so “beneficial” to America as a whole.
    I agree that the wall would be unnecessary and expensive. We should bring our troops home and we’d have plenty of people to watch the border.
    Your numbers seem to miss a great many things but then with the tone of the article, that would be the only way you could make “sense” of these numbers for your rant.
    I agree that Trump is a rabble rouser. He does not understand Constitutional Law nor the Oath of Office. Neither do you.
    Arpaio’s jails were not mistreating people. However, if you wish to sit wherever and cast stones, then you fit right in with the people that found him in contempt of court. He was doing his Constitutional duty. The local court could not convict him of a crime (he being an egocentrical ass is beside the point. But not for the agenda that brought him down) so they made up one. If you wish to know what the Sheriff’s duties are, try talking with ex-sheriff Richard Mack.
    You should wander down our way before spouting political nonsense.

  17. Heaven forbid that someone would “Profile Hispanic’s” while looking for illegal aliens.
    Did this author, or Cato ever consider that maybe the reason that crossings flat lined is that illegals have already saturated the low skill labor market in a time that the economy is barely inching forward.
    It’s thinking like this that keeps me a small l libertarian.
    The open borders position is every bit as Utopian as anything any progressive ever came up with.

  18. Isn’t it amazing how people who make their living in a medium that relies on the use of the “English” language don’t feel threatened by illegal aliens who speak a different language flooding across the border.
    But, if you were say, a carpenter or other tradesman and watched your income stagnate because your labor pool got flooded with illegals who by their competition drove down the value of your skill, you may have a different perspective.
    Not to mention the social services that you by your taxes had to provide for the illegals.

    It must be great to live in a theoretical world.

    Ted Cruz’s election ad about the Lawyers flooding across the border was to my mind the best political ad of the primary season.

    1. A, if your wages are going down because of immigration- or trade, or automation- that’s a sign to quit that job and move to one of the new ones created by increased societal wealth. And if you can’t? Call your congressman to support occupational licensing and zoning regulation reform, so that you can.

      B, those social services only cost as much on net (remember that illegals have to pay sales taxes and such too) as an actual effective border wall/system would annually (what we pay for CBP/ICE now + as much again), and

      C, how much of a fucking pussy do you have to be in order to be threatened by someone speaking Spanish “near you”?

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