According to the Customs and Border Protection statistics, there was a 40 percent decrease in illegal alien apprehensions during the month of February, becoming thus lowest numbers for February in five years. This was the first time there has been a decrease in February arrests since the federal government began collecting these statistics in 2000.
 
The Federation for Immigration Reform said in a release that the current administration's immigration policies are already bearing fruit: "Why? It looks like President Trump's tough talk on border enforcement and deportations of criminal aliens is being heard."
 
Even while the building of the promised border wall has not yet begun nor have additional border patrol officers hired, the New York Times found that persons seeking to enter the United States illegally single out one factor more than any other as a deterrent: Donald Trump.
 
FAIR wrote in a release, "The power of the bully pulpit should never be underestimated. Non-stop talk of amnesty and lax immigration enforcement during the Obama years led to constant pressure on the southern border as tens of thousands of Central Americans dashed north.
 
In a related development, the Washington Post reported that immigrants are bailing out of food stamps out of fear that they would otherwise be targetted for deportation. President Trump's recent executive order on protecting taxpayer resources and ensuring immigrant accountability requested that the Department of Homeland Security should "propose a rule to provide standards for determining whether an alien within five years of entry is deportable for becoming a public charge."  According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the number of non-citizens and refugees, as well as citizen children who have used SNAP since 2002 has tripled to 5.7 million people nationally. 
 
FAIR wrote in a release that anecdotal evidence from Arizona shows that 49 percent of immigrant households with children receive food assistance. Voluntary withdrawls from the SNAP nutrition program doubled between November and February, according to FAIR. In other states, eligible immigrants are simply refusing to sign up.
 
FAIR estimates that illegal aliens alone use $2.26 billion in reduced or free meal programs and $1.03 billion in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.


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Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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