Report: Immigrants Are Heading Straight to Border Fencing

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Trump says increased border fencing and a border wall are necessary to prevent immigrants from illegally crossing the border, but fencing is exactly what's drawing them in some cases.

Reuters reports that an increasing number of immigrants are intentionally seeking out specific sections of border fencing because all they really want to do is turn themselves in and apply for asylum.

EL PASO, Texas (Reuters) - Huddled against a border fence on a bitterly cold morning in El Paso, Texas, a group of 60 Guatemalan migrants, around half toddlers and children, shouted for help: “We’re cold, we’re hungry, we need shelter.”

The group was trying to surrender to U.S. Border Patrol agents and claim asylum, but the agents were too busy herding other groups along the fence that stands about 100 yards (91 m) inside U.S. territory.

The 18-foot-high (5.5 meters) steel barrier is meant to deter illegal immigration. But its position inside the border has turned it into a destination for human smugglers trafficking large groups of asylum seekers fleeing poverty and violence.

The smugglers in recent weeks have shifted routes to El Paso from the remote Antelope Wells area of New Mexico, Border Patrol supervisory agent Joe Romero said.

The border fence that's 100 yards inside El Paso may be relatively unique in its positioning, but if Trump actually got his wash to build a border wall from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean, there would be many areas where the barrier could not be placed literally on the border because of local topography or infrastructure.

People who want to come here because staying in their home countries could mean certain death are never going to care about Trump's fantasy wall. They aren't afraid of being arrested by the Border Patrol. It's actually what many of them want, because being detained in America is still better than what they left behind.

We should be making it easier to enter the country and legally apply for asylum, not more difficult. Trump regime officials say we need to build a border wall because illegal immigration is causing a "humanitarian crisis," but the truth is they just want to keep brown people out of the country.

  • muselet

    Any humanitarian crisis on the border is a direct consequence of the Trump administration’s actions; the same is true of any border security crisis.

    Also, apart from everything else, we have legal obligations under the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (1951). I am not a lawyer, but it seems to me the US is in material breach of those obligations, which can only embolden other countries to ignore inconvenient treaties. I know Donald Trump hates multilateral agreements, but destroying the foundations of international law is not likely to lead to anything good.