Donald Trump’s talk of building a wall at the U.S.-Mexican border is being blamed for the surge of illegal immigrants entering the country, which in turn has border agents saying they could use a wall right about now.
The anti-immigration rhetoric of the Republican presidential front-runner has given a greater sense of urgency for the exodus north by Central Americans seeking a better life away from the poverty and gang activity in their homelands.
Between October and February, 150,304 migrants were stopped illegally entering the United States at the southern border, an increase of 24 percent, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection data.
And those numbers typically rise with the approach of summer.
The recent surge is confirmed by Blanca Rivera, who runs the Ciudad Juarez migrant shelter across the border from El Paso, Texas, and she blames Trump’s rhetoric.
“They think they need to take advantage while they can,” she said, according to the Daily Mail.
“If Trump wins, we’re all screwed and all Latinos are screwed,” El Salvadoran Isaias Franco, 46, said at the Ciudad Juarez shelter.
Franco believes that a GOP presidential victory would dash all hope for attaining any U.S. legal status, and Central Americans tend to follow American politics for that very reason.
“You watch the news,” he said. “There’s a lot of fear among Latinos.”
The Trump campaign is well-aware of this.
“It seems they agree Mr. Trump will be tough, build the wall and stop illegal immigration,” Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks said.
In response to the crisis created by an estimated 75,000 young immigrants that are expected to enter the United States illegally, U.S. Customs and Border Protection is asking for an additional $23 million in funding, The Washington Examiner reported.
That’s just for the expected surge in immigration.
In addition, customs Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske told House appropriators his agency needs $12.5 million to deal with the thousands of unaccompanied immigrants already here.
The Examiner tweeted:
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) March 2, 2016
That tweet earned a lot of replies, along with a few suggestions:
— Joe (@joesjcool) March 3, 2016
— Robert (@rachal_robert) March 3, 2016
— PrincessM (@PrincessAssileM) March 2, 2016
@dcexaminer Probably all of the above would decrease a lot of $$ and crime on the border, and would surely save money in schools, hospitals
— WinSton (@WinStonBoSton85) March 3, 2016
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