By Rondell Treviño, Founder/Director, The immigration Project
Southern Border Fencing:
– 2,000 miles along U.S.-Border.
– 650 miles of fencing.
– 300 of 650 miles are vehicle barriers. Not designed to stop human trafficking.
– The other 350 of the 650 miles is roughly 15-18 feet tall fencing.
– 1,400 of the 2,000 miles are open.
Is there a crisis at the Southern Border?
Not at the level President Trump communicates, but there is to a certain degree. It’s more of a humanitarian crisis. According to the New York Times, in 2017 Border apprehensions were at their lowest point since 1971, but there’s still a lot of apprehensions of undocumented Immigrants and drugs, and we cannot ignore this.
When it comes to Undocumented Immigrants, according to CBP a total of 396,579 were apprehended along the Southern Border, up 92,663 apprehensions of Immigrants in 2017. When it comes to drugs, most in 2018 were apprehended at ports of entry, not along the Southern Border. However, there’s still drugs being seized and apprehended at the Southern Border: 10% of Heroin, 12% of Cocaine, 13% of Methamphetamine, 20% of Fentanyl, and the majority of marijuana at 61%. If 300 of the 650 mile fencing are vehicle barriers, not designed to stop human trafficking, then there’s a pretty good chance the small percentage of Immigrants attempting to smuggle drugs into the country are trying to there, or finding a way along the Southern Border’s 1,400 of zero fencing or wall.
What am I trying to say? We need to secure ports of entry, implement a wall in needed places along the Southern Border, and augment the already 650 mile long fencing with better barriers that not only keep out vehicles but Immigrant smugglers bringing in drugs and human trafficking. Now, we don’t want to keep out Immigrants who want to come to the U.S. and seek asylum, or keep out all Immigrants in general–our country thrives because of the Immigrants in the United States–both from documented and undocumented. However, it’s not immoral to keep the percentage of criminal Immigrants who drug traffic and human traffic out of the United States by securing ports of entry and implementing a wall in needed places. This just makes sense. And we can do so while still loving, welcoming, showing hospitality to, advocating for, and doing justice on behalf of Immigrants coming into our country and already in our country.
Securing ports of entry and implementing a wall in needed places is a both and, not an either or.
The immigration Project exists to equip the Church to embrace a biblically balanced approach to immigration that shows compassion to immigrants while respecting the rule of law.