The National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd told C-SPAN on Monday that illegal immigration has seen a stark drop thanks to President Donald Trump's border enforcement policies.
Appearing with C-SPAN's Washington Journal host Pedro Echevarria, Judd called the drop in attempted illegal immigration "miraculous," and pointed to Trump's "rhetoric" as one of the reasons illegal border crossings have gone down.
“What we’ve seen is nothing short of miraculous,” Judd said. “If you look at the rhetoric that President Trump has given, it’s caused the number of illegal border crossers to go down, something that we’ve never seen in history at the Border Patrol.”
“We’ve never seen such a drop that we currently have,” Judd added.
According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, June 2017 saw a 53 percent decrease in illegal immigration from June 2016 along the southwestern border. Overall totals for illegal immigration for 2017 were reported down 19 percent.
Judd said that Trump's enforcement of border laws deserves most of the credit for the drop.
“We’ve got a set of laws on the books that say ‘If you cross the border illegally, or if you commit this crime, these are the consequences that have been established,” Judd said. “And the Trump administration said that ‘we are going to follow through on those consequences,’ something we didn’t see in the last four years in the last administration.”
Judd compared illegal immigration in 2014 under former President Barack Obama's administration. Judd noted that during that time, illegal immigrants would purposely give themselves up to law enforcement, knowing they would be released with a court date. According to Judd, 80 percent of those released never returned.
"When you hear the Obama administration say we have to bring these people out of the shadows, what they were doing was actually going into the shadows instead of coming out," Judd said.
Judd compared that to the Trump administration's approach, saying that those who cross illegally are held until their court date, and given a chance to "showcase" why the individual should be allowed to stay in the country.
Judd said that the Obama administration "skipped that point," and let individuals go in the hopes they would show up to their court date.
Last month, the figures released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection for the month of May were just as impressive. May 2017 saw 76,000 captured or deemed inadmissible at the border, compared to 188,000 in May of 2016. This marked a 59 percent decrease in illegal immigration in just a year.