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President Donald J. Trump poses with Border Protection officers, and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen near McAllen, Texas. (White House Photo)

President Trump and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen checked drugs and weapons seized at points of entry, at a border security roundtable in McAllen, Texas, on 10 January 2019.

On 25 January 2019, the US Federal government reopened following a 35-day partial shutdown. On 1 February, President Trump commented on the funding for his proposed US-Mexico wall, saying that any debate was a “waste of time” and hinted that he may secure funding without congressional approval, as it was a “national emergency”.

Trump visits the border at McAllen, Texas. (Shealah Craighead; Official White House Photo)

So what is the real crisis America is facing?
The Trump administration explains that strengthening border security is not the same as being anti-immigrant. Trump says they are working to decrease the number of victims of lawlessness around the US border; legal immigrants, US citizens, and law-enforcement officers have all been affected.

Over the past two years, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents have arrested over 260,000 people who took advantage of leaks in the US immigration system, including criminals who were convicted of a total of nearly 100,000 assaults, 30,000 sex crimes, and 4,000 homicides.

Republicans say the murder of 4,000 people is a crisis that the US government should solve, while Democrats say it’s a “manufactured” problem.

In any case, the consequences of a slack immigration system are unlikely to self-correct. In the last 6 weeks alone, incidents related to border security have been many. Reports say a U.S. Border Patrol officer was assaulted by a foreign criminal who crossed the border in Arizona. Two suspected MS-13 gang members from Honduras were arrested last week, following their illegal entry into the US.

A group of 306 Central Americans gave themselves up to Border Patrol agents in the Arizona desert, where smugglers often leave sick or abused migrants for dead, after crossing the border illegally. Border Patrol officers arrested four smugglers of narcotics in Texas after discovering more than 190 pounds of drugs and officers also arrested two convicted pedophile sex offenders in Arizona.

The Trump administration says that border security will of course not stop all crime in America, but is a step forward. President Trump also recently signed into law a criminal justice reform, hoping to make US communities safer. It cannot be denied that better border security will help to provide more safety.

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