By R. Cort Kirkwood - thenewamerican.com
Bad as it is, the Chinese coronavirus has done one good thing.
Border agents on the nation's southwest frontier with Mexico apprehended half as many illegal aliens in April as they did in March, and just 15 percent of the total that crossed in April a year ago.
And almost all of those apprehended were single men, not "families" or unaccompanied minors.
The latest figures from Customs and Border Protection show that border cops collared less than 17,000 of the border jumpers. Total apprehensions for the year number a little more than 250,000, a major decline from last year's total by this time: more than half a million.
The drastic reduction is most likely the result of two things: the virus pandemic, and President Trump's two border control measures to deal with the Asiatic pathogen.
Border agents apprehended 16,789 illegals in between or at ports of entry, CBP reported. That's a 50.7 percent decline from the number in March, 30,064.
The number nabbed between the ports of entry - meaning trying to cross unseen - was 15,862, broken down for April and the year as follows:
* Unaccompanied Children - 734 / 18,796
* Family Units - 604 / 41,068
* Single Adults - 14,524 / 147,063
Unaccompanied minors dropped 75 percent from March's 2,938, while "families," often identified as fakes and frauds, dropped 82 percent from the previous month's total, 3,369.
Single men, 91.5 percent of April's apprehensions, dropped about 38.7 percent from 23,695.
The total apprehended between ports dropped 47 percent from 30,002.
The total far in fiscal 2020, 206,927, has dropped 55.1 percent from last year's 461,031 .
The number of inadmissibles crashed to almost nothing, relatively speaking. Just 927 showed up at ports of entry:
* Unaccompanied Alien Children - 32 / 2,244
* Family Units - 22 / 18,335
* Single Adults - 857 / 24,649
* Accompanied Minor Child - 16 / 343
The total dropped 77.2 percent from 4,062 in March. The largest declines were among single men, which dropped 66.7 percent from 2,596 the previous month, and "families," which dropped 98 percent from 1,178.
Single men were about 92 percent of the inadmissibles.
Total inamissibles so far this year - 45,571 - have dropped 36.2 percent from 71,471 for the correspoinding time period last year.
Month-to-month this fiscal year, which began October, the number of apprehensions have dropped significantly.
By this time in 2019, border agents had apprehended 532,052 illegals. This year, the figure is 252,498, a 52.5 percent decrease.
Depicted side-by-side, the numbers for the first seven months of the fiscal year suggest the virus, and more importantly, President Trump's border policies, have done the job:
2019 / 2020
60,781 / 45,157
62,469 / 42,642
60,794 / 40,573
58,317 / 36,584
76,545 / 36,689
103,731 / 34,064
109,415 / 16,789
The monthly figure for March dropped 67 percent; for April, 84.7 percent.
This year's daily numbers are a trickle compared to last year's. In March and April, border agents apprehended about 3,500 every day, or 145 an hour.
Now, they're dealing with 833 per day, of 34 per hour.
Most likely, the virus and Trump's border measure are responsible for the much-lower number of apprehensions.
On April 22, responding to the pandemic, President Trump suspended all immigraiton to the United States except for certain groups. But the order could have gone further; it still permits the entry of cheap foreign labor and tycoons who pass as "investors."
But it was a start and fortified Trump's order in March to deport all illegals immediately and provide no chance for an asylum application.
Question is, did the virus play the main role knocking down the numbers, and if so, when the threat passes, will the illegal-alien hordes keep tramping north? Or did illegals get the message: You're not welcome here, unless you cross the border legally.
Whatever the answer, criminals are still attempting to cross the border, CBP reports. Thursday, agents intercepted a 60-pound shipment of methamphetamine, they nabbed yet another child molester on Wednesday, and on May 2, collared another MS-13 gang member.
As well, border agents are regularly stopping human smugglers in cars, trucks, and tractor-trailers packed tight with dozens and sometimes more than 50 illegals.
Those facts suggest that neither the virus nor Trump's orders will deter those hardened criminals, who don't much care whether Dr. Anthony Fauci, or a governor or mayor, mandates wearing masks or staying at home.