It was the “Trump Effect,” and it seemed to be working.
Shortly after the election, immigration numbers began to drop. As a candidate, President Donald Trump promised to crack down on illegal immigration, even using loaded terms like “deportation force.”
That terrified illegal immigrants and would-be immigrants. Visions of brown-shirted men with baseball clubs climbing out of the back of flatbed pickup trucks in the barrios came to mind.
Quickly, Trump changed the terminology to a “deportation task force,” which seems much less ominous.
But his wording worked. For the first few months of the year, the number of apprehensions dropped sharply – bottoming out in April as human smugglers, or coyotes, feared being caught by an administration that would show no mercy.
But in May, something happened, WND reports. The number of illegal border crossers began to rise. Slowly at first, then sharply.
“We’re getting those family units again. They’re getting bus rides just like before at taxpayer expense to their destination of choice,” a U.S. Border Patrol agent told WND.
These illegal immigrants are handed a notice to show up at a later date at a court hearing – but of course, very few show up.
Most are families and unaccompanied minors from Guatemala and other countries in Central America.
But also, there is a disturbing rise in the numbers of immigrants from India and Pakistan seeking asylum.
Pakistan is a hotbed of jihadism and is one of the world’s most populous Muslim countries.
The border agent told WND, a group of agents were briefed about a week ago by a border intelligence supervisor to be on the lookout for more Asians. He said 50 Pakistanis and approximately 300 Indians were apprehended at the border in the month of November alone. Most came in small groups of five or less.
“The Pakistanis really shocked me,” said the border agent, who works in the El Centro Sector but asked not to be identified for fear of professional reprisals. “I knew they were getting Indians, but when he said 50 Pakistanis were picked up last month I was really shocked.”
All crossed over from Mexico into California in the El Centro sector.
“I think a lot of them from Pakistan and India are flying right into Mexico City and Mexico just kind of looks the other way, maybe even helps point them in the direction of the fastest route to the U.S. border,” the agent told WND. “They don’t want them in Mexico.”
Agents are also seeing some Brazilians crossing into California from Mexico. Brazilians have a history of coming through Texas.
The agent thinks he knows why more are choosing California now.
“Word is getting out that these checkpoints are understaffed and that California is a sanctuary state,” he said.
California Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation on Oct. 4 declaring California the nation’s first sanctuary state. The new law goes into effect Jan. 1 but word is already spreading.
The federal agent said the border surge is also the fault of a lack of manpower at the U.S. Border Patrol.