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Illegal immigration is back to Obama-era levels. That’s still BAD

If you truly want to understand just how bad this year's catch-and-release-driven immigration crisis at the border has been, look at a recent report about numbers at the southern border.

The report from Princeton Policy Advisors (PPA) shows that numbers of apprehensions are just now getting back to "normal" levels, following a months-long decline since their high point in May of this year. The PPA’s forecast, as shown in the first table here, anticipates a continued downward trend, bringing border apprehensions way down from the astronomical spikes of 2019 to levels similar to those in the last decade and lower than the higher levels of 2018 and 2016.

"The border appears to be coming back under control in terms of new apprehensions," writes Princeton Policy Advisors president Steven Kopits in a blog post based on October's border numbers. "Of course, there is still a massive backlog in the courts and with respect to migrants being held under various auspices, but the incoming flow has now normalized to more typical levels, and as last month, President Trump can take the credit."

Kopits notes that the biggest change in the number is in the family unit category, explaining that "traditional illegal border jumping has not much changed, but families, particularly from the Northern Triangle countries of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala have been effectively deterred from attempting to cross Mexico into the US."

That influx of family units — both legitimate and illegitimate — was the primary source of apprehensions and strained enforcement resources during this year's spike, which has been driven in large part by asylum loopholes in the U.S. immigration system for people who show up at the border with children in tow.

So, things are now getting back to around  the levels they were at before this year's spike. These new numbers come after months of efforts from the Trump administration to curb the influx through means such as changes to detention and apprehension policies, working with Mexico and other countries on addressing the migrant flow from Central America, the addition of new immigration judges to handle claims, and rooting out fraudulent family units via DNA testing.

But in light of the administration's success in bringing levels back to the status quo, we must remember that the status quo was the problem in the first place. Indeed, those "normal" levels of illegal immigration and the need to secure the southern border were issues that helped put Donald Trump in the Oval Office.

The numbers may finally be stabilizing, but America's illegal immigration problem is still very much in crisis.

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