Yuma

Today, President Trump will be visiting the U.S.-Mexico border in Yuma Arizona, to tour and observe the border control operations and facilities.

President Trump is set to visit Yuma, Arizona, located on the southern border of the U.S., later today to do a tour of the facility, receive a briefing on equipment, look at the predator drone and other technologies, followed by a closed-door briefing and a meeting with marines.

The president will be joined by his White House Chief of Staff, John Kelly, Homeland Security Chief of Staff Kirstjen Nielsen, among other members of his administration.

The trip marks POTUS’ first official visit to Yuma, a town located on U.S.’s southern border. With much of Trump’s campaign rhetoric revolving around border control, this marks a step forward in his administration’s efforts to address his campaign promises of reducing illegal border crossings.

The 63-mile long security wall recently built in Yuma is a result of Trump’s intent (and campaign promise) to build a wall across the entire U.S.-Mexico border. Thereby, Yuma serves as an example of the implementation of the Trump administration’s executive orders and policy changes in efforts to improve border control and reduce illegal immigration.

According to a White House official, border patrol apprehended 126,472 individuals trying to illegally enter the U.S. in Yuma, a 46% decrease from the same period of time in 2016. There were also decreases in numbers of Mexican nationals and children apprehended. These numbers, compound to an 83% drop in border crossing (according to WH sources).

Wall Infrastructure & Border Control

The White House official attributes the success in Yuma to the securing of the border. Previously, Yuma had had less than 5 miles of wall, but now has 63 miles. Wall infrastructure has resulted in the steep drop of border crossings, which is 83% according to the White House official. Another official spoke to the multifaceted success of the wall, and said that it is not just the physical infrastructure of a wall that has the most impact. The right mix of technology, agents, and infrastructure is necessary for true impact.

Environmental Considerations

Regarding the environmental considerations and potential consequences of erecting walls along the U.S.-Mexico border, White House officials said that they have experience doing environmental scans in the past, and will enlist all measures to have the least invasive means of construction.

Further, the White House official stressed the importance of strong interior enforcement, since 91,000 people have been arrested (a roughly 43% increase from the same period in 2016), and said this is considered a result of President Trump’s executive orders. The administration’s plan to increase ERO numbers from 5,000 to 15,000 should help alleviate some of the pressures faced by border control agencies.

Further, this reduction in border crossings means there are more resources and avenues available for interior enforcement to grow. The new rhetoric is said to have a significant deterring effect towards those planning on trying to cross the U.S. border illegally.

With the administration taking tough measures to address border security, efforts are being made to the White House official stressed the importance of reinforcing the message that not only is the journey dangerous, but “once you arrive here you will be apprehended, detained, and removed from the country”, towards those considering illegal border crossing. This message of a tighter border and stricter enforcement is said to continue to dissuade individuals from entering the country illegally.

On his way to Yuma, the President boarded the helicopter, situated on the South Lawn, waving to the crowd of press congregated by the press pen. He was followed by John Kelly, Tom Bossert, Kirstjen Nielsen, Stephen Miller, Sarah Sanders and other members of the administration.