Unexpected News From the Border Patrol Is Unexpectedly Unexpected

FILE - In this Jan. 4, 2016 photo, a U.S. Border Patrol agent drives near the U.S.-Mexico border fence in Santa Teresa, N.M. Can Donald Trump really make good on his promise to build a wall along the 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexican border to prevent illegal migration? What’s more, can he make Mexico pay for it? Sure, he can build it, but it’s not nearly as simple as he says. (AP Photo/Russell Contreras)

Historically, crossings by illegals of our Southern border run in a predictable cycle. The numbers increase gradually from January to April, they peak in May, they plateau through the summer, and they start to decline again in the autumn. Like any other pattern, it exists right up to the point where it doesn’t:

Apprehensions at the southern border continue to fall dramatically, according to new numbers from Customs and Border Protection — a drop that experts attribute to President Donald Trump’s aggressive immigration enforcement policies.

There were roughly 12,000 total apprehensions at the southwest border in March, according to numbers obtained by CNN that are expected to be released this week. That represents a 35% drop from February and a 63% drop from March 2016.

In 17 years of CBP data, apprehensions had never dropped from February to March, typically rising slightly.

Former Acting Customs and Border Patrol Commissioner David Aguilar said Tuesday at a hearing in front of the Senate’s Homeland Security Committee that through the end of March, immigration officials have seen a 67% drop in illegal crossings from Mexico as compared to the same period last year.

What is illustrative here is that this drop has been made possible without additions the border wall being built or without additional Border Patrol officers being hired. All that was necessary was for the president to decide that stopping illegals was a priority. I suspect by mid-summer we’ll start hearing stories about crops rotting in the fields and labor shortages at resorts and demands from the Chamber of Commerce to open the borders again.