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Letter: Borders seeing a surge of immigration

To the editor,

At present, North Dakota has a population of around 750,000. The Washington Post's article saying President Trump's state of emergency is a hoax because only 400,000 illegal immigrants entered the U.S. in 2018 basically means that in two years they will exceed the population of North Dakota.

On the other hand the Washington Times stated illegal immigration was up 200 percent in March, after Senate legalization debate. Illegal immigration across the southwest border surged 200 percent in March compared to the same month the previous year. This according to Homeland Security statistics released late Wednesday that back up the White House's claims that things are quickly deteriorating on the border.

The year-over-year surge is by far the largest in the records, which date back to 2011, and it could be a signal that the Senate's debate on legalizing illegal immigrants earlier this year has sparked a new wave of migration.

The Border Patrol and officers at the ports of entry nabbed three times the 16,588 people apprehended in March 2017, when President Trump's tough enforcement talk had sparked a major drop in illegal immigration attempts. Those numbers are considered a rough yardstick for the overall flow of illegal traffic, so increases in the number of people caught signals an increase in overall illegal immigration.

Analysts say that migration is seasonal, so comparisons to the same time in previous years gives the best sense for where things are headed.

Particularly troubling for officials was a major jump in the number of illegal immigrants traveling as families. Nearly 9,000 were nabbed by the Border Patrol and another 5,100 were stopped at ports of entry. By contrast, in March 2017 the Border Patrol caught just 1,125 immigrants traveling as families, and the officers at the ports of entry stopped just 768.

Dwight Messner

Grand Forks