The standoff between the Democrats and the Republicans is at an all time peak as the longest U.S. government shutdown continues. President Trump is unrelenting, and both parties are blaming the other for extending the shutdown. The impasse over the funding to build a wall along the southern border of the United States, a Trump’s presidential campaign promise has seen thousands of federal employees furloughed.
While the shutdown continues, both parties are defending their views – President Trump himself visited the southern border and called the situation a ‘humanitarian crisis’ calling the open border a direct contributor to increment in violence in the United States, a portal for drug trafficking and related crimes and violence.
He tweeted on Jan 11 after his visit to the border,
“Humanitarian Crisis at our Southern Border. I just got back and it is a far worse situation than almost anyone would understand, an invasion! I have been there numerous times – The Democrats, Cryin’ Chuck and Nancy don’t know how bad and dangerous it is for our ENTIRE COUNTRY….”
This leads us to the question if the border crisis can be called a ‘humanitarian crisis’? And if so, why can’t Democrats see it? Or is he exaggerating upon the situation to convince people that they need a wall? Here are comparisons between some statistic records of happenings occurred along the border areas and some Trump’s assertions which help us speculate what the reality is, indeed.
“We can’t have people pouring into our country like they have over the last 10 years.” He insists that illegal immigration in US has caused many crimes and violence and threatened the security and peace of US.”, Trump tweeted.
But according to US Custom and Protection, illegal border crossings have been declining for nearly two decades. In 2017, border-crossing apprehensions were at their lowest point since 1971. Furthermore, undetected illegal border crossings have dropped at an even faster rate, from 851,000 in 2006 to approximately 62,000 in 2016, according to estimates by the Department of Homeland Security.
Trump asserts that the southern border has been port of entry for bringing drugs into the US.
“Every week, 300 of our citizens are killed by heroin alone, 90 percent of which floods across from our southern border.” said the President.
But the reality is that although the southern border is used to enter drugs in the US, most of the drugs are brought into the country through legal border of entry via vehicles or sea-ports as said by DEA. The wall needs to block land, air, and sea routes to stop the passage of drugs into the United States.
The president finds undocumented immigrants largely responsible for violence and killing in the country. “Over the years, thousands of Americans have been brutally killed by those who illegally entered our country, and thousands more lives will be lost if we don’t act right now.” said Trump.
But to shed a light on his assertion on the basis of study of 2015 by Cato Institute, a libertarian researcher center, of Texas, which has the longest border with Mexico and has one of the largest population of undocumented immigrants in US, found that the rate of crime among undocumented immigrants was generally lower than among native-born Americans.
A humanitarian crisis is ‘an event or series of events that represents a critical threat to the health, safety, security, or well being of a community or other large group of people, usually over a wide area.’ A humanitarian crisis usually occurs owing to the failure of the authority in a society or country due to the internal or external forces which are beyond the control of a single agency and thus requires international responses. For example: Syrian refugee crisis, Nepal Earthquake, South Sudan conflict and hunger and Iraq displacement.
We therefore arrive at this question: are there any such series of events that are a critical threat to the health, safety, security and well being of a large number of Americans living along the southern border? And will a wall solve the ongoing problems in the country?