Bummer: Fear Is Making Illegals Disappear From The Border

Bummer: Fear Is Making Illegals Disappear From The Border

It’s apparently very horrible, according to Daily Beast writer Betsy Woodruff, that illegals have disappeared from border town shelters

Fear of Trump Makes Migrants Disappear From Mexican Border

In the 35 years Gilda and Juan Francisco Loureiro have been running a shelter in northern Mexico for undocumented immigrants, they’ve never seen a week like this one.

The shelter, called Albergue San Juan Bosco, is perched on a steep hillside looking over the busy border town of Nogales, Mexico. Its walls are painted bright turquoise and tangerine, and its wide-open double doors look west over low hills and Highway 15. Since they opened it, upward of 1 million people have slept there on their way to the U.S. But on the day I visited, it was almost empty.

It didn’t used to be this way, Gilda and Juan Francisco, known as Paco, explained. In the decades since they opened the space to give migrants a place to shower and sleep before crossing the border, the shelter—with separate rooms full of bunkbeds for men and women—would regularly house 100 migrants per night. Sometimes, that number would hit 300 or more, and Gilda and Paco would pull out thin mattresses to fit everyone on the floor.

Right now it’s almost empty. No illegals looking to make their way to Los Estados Unidos. Why?

They can only think of one explanation: President Donald Trump.

Trump hasn’t yet made good on his bombastic campaign trail promises. The wall is still just a twinkle in his eye, and the deportation force hiring sprees haven’t happened yet. ICE agents have conducted raids targeting undocumented immigrants, but they aren’t actually that different in scale from raids that happened during the early years of the Obama administration.

But the symbolism of Trump in the Oval Office and the threat of extended detention has already deterred many migrants. Migrants are scared, explained Jose, a young Honduran man staying at the San Bosco shelter in hopes of getting to the U.S. They might be less scared in the future, he said, but for now they’re waiting.

Most of those “migrants” are people who would become illegal aliens, people who are unlawfully present, the minute they cross the border. Now, the flow has turned into a trickle.

Williams said she expects the number of migrants crossing the border to go back up because Trump hasn’t changed the structural realities that drive migration: He hasn’t made southern Mexico any less poor and violent, and he hasn’t made the cartels any weaker. The changes in the last month are significant, she said, but temporary.

So, it’s now Trump’s Fault that many parts of Mexico are horrible, and he’s supposed to Do Something about it? Please. The thing is, they aren’t just coming from Mexico, so, as long as the crackdowns continue, and the media is willing to continue telling future illegals that they should be super fearful, the flow will stay low.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

 

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