DHS Reveals How Far We Are From Having Illegal Immigration Under Control

News reports in early December 2017 highlighted the fact that under President Trump, illegal border crossings had dropped to a 45-year low. This caused some open border advocates to question the need for many of the enforcement tools espoused by the president during his campaign.

Don’t get excited too quickly. New statistics out of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) demonstrate that while apprehensions have been below the historic average, we’re not quite out of the woods yet. In fact, DHS is apprehending more than 1,100 illegal immigrants per day, with the number peaking at 1,400 in a single day on January 14.

And not all of those apprehensions are illegal aliens seeking amnesty or job opportunities. In fact, DHS reports that at least seven known or suspected terrorists are apprehended every day, or roughly 2,500 per year.

The continuous speculation about a DACA amnesty, combined with the proliferation of dangerous sanctuary jurisdictions across the nation, seems to have incentivized illegal immigration once again. There has been a 622 percent increase in family units detained at the border since April. And despite the fact that roughly 95 percent of family units with children who are released never show up for their pending hearings, they’re being released in 20 days or less into the interior of the country.

Further, once asylum applicants are released, they can wait as long as four years for a hearing – if they intend going – because there’s a backlog already of well over 300,000 cases. Additionally, some 628,000 aliens overstayed their visa and remained illegally in the country in 2016 alone. And that’s in addition to the 950,000 illegal aliens with final orders for removal who remain in the country.

Still think we have a handle on the problem?

Clearly, we need to have the right enforcement tools in place – including the wall, mandatory E-Verify, and increased interior enforcement against sanctuary cities – before any talks related to the DACA population take place. To do otherwise would simply be throwing fuel on the fire.

About Author


Dave rejoined the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in 2016 and brings more than thirty years of proactive communications experience working with non-profits, trade associations and the private sector. Dave has written and placed op-eds in more than 100 publications for national and state leaders in fields ranging from immigration to agriculture policy, food and energy. Ray has served as a chief spokesman for several national organizations and has extensive radio and television experience as well.


  1. avatar

    What difference does any of it make any more?? Congress is never going to take any actions to even curb any aspect of immigration, much less end any of it, deport any of them, or do anything to stop them coming. What’s the point of us screaming NO, NO, when our government keeps catching them (some) at the border but just turns them loose into our country, maybe even providing transportation for them. This article, on the one hand says border crossings are half what they were months ago, and then, on the other hand, says border patrol is catching over 30,000 per month. And, then, there are the ones not caught. But what does any of it matter, if the only action ever taken by this government is to just let them all in and protect and help them in every way possible. No matter how hard we are willing to fight to save our country, what chance do we have against half of American citizens, all of congress, all the government agencies, all the liberal judges/courts/lawyers. And no one listens to our pleas but us.

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      Save our country?,,,,.you are delusional…..those kids are not a threat but at the same time there are others longer in here that deserve a chance ….

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    It’s beginning to look like we may get exactly what this article points out. A mass amnesty for almost 2 million with all the enforcement and immigration reductions far down the road. In other words, a repeat of the 2013 amnesty bill. Even if a wall is funded, it doesn’t mean it won’t be defunded a couple years from now, as happened with the Secure Fence Act of 2006. And it won’t be completed for years anyway. We might as well put a blinking sign on the border and at all airports. Come on in, we’re not really serious about enforcement. Oh well, lied to again.