White House Touts Immigration Accomplishments in First 500 Days
By Heather Ham-Warren | June 8, 2018
Earlier this week, the White House released “President Donald J. Trump’s 500 Days of Making Our Communities Safer and More Secure” to highlight for the American people that, despite insufficient resources and congressional obstruction, President Trump has worked diligently to improve border security and restore the rule of law in immigration policy.
From inauguration to the end of FY 2017, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Removal Operations (ERO) made 42 percent more arrests of illegal aliens compared to the previous year. This year, after Congress failed to fund a border wall, President Trump deployed the National Guard to the southern border to support and further stop illegal immigration. Additionally, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kristjen Nielsen announced the decision to refer all illegal crossing cases to the Department of Justice (DOJ). Following suit, Attorney General Jeff Sessions stated that that federal prosecutors will “take on as many of those cases as humanly possible until [they] get to 100 percent.”
The failure to prosecute these individuals in the past has been a strong pull factor for criminal illegal aliens, which has allowed violent gangs— such as MS-13— to take hold in the United States. MS-13 has been especially vicious in their crimes facilitating an unknown number of murders and child prostitution. It was the particularly gruesome ways gang members murder their victims that first caught the government’s attention and garnered direct malediction from President Trump. ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) arrests of MS-13 members and their associates increased by 83 percent from FY 2016 to FY 2017. Additionally, while working with partners in Central America, DOJ secured criminal charges against more than 4,000 MS-13 members in 2017 alone.
Furthermore, the previous failure to prosecute has encouraged drug dealers to continue funneling illicit drugs into our country fueling the opioid crisis. Today, on average, there are 115 opioid overdose deaths every single day. Thankfully, this administration is continually working to cut off illegal drug supplies by utilizing all relevant federal agencies to combat this crisis. The U.S. Border Patrol continues to work to stop drug supplies before they reach our communities, seizing more pounds of fentanyl so far in FY 2018 than in all of FY 2017. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a new Medicaid policy to increase access to treatment options. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved new treatments to help those struggling with addiction; and the DOJ launched the Joint Criminal Opioid Darknet Enforcement (J-CODE) team, aimed at disrupting online illicit opioid sales.