It sounds almost too good to be true, but new figures released by the Justice Department don’t lie. At a time when the number of migrants seeking asylum have reached critical proportions, the number seeking to “self-deport” (to borrow a term coined by Mitt Romney) has also reached record levels.
Via Politico Magazine:
The number of immigrants [sic semper] who have applied for voluntary departure has soared since the election of Donald Trump, according to new Justice Department data obtained by The Marshall Project. In fiscal year 2018, the number of applications doubled from the previous fiscal year — rising much faster than the 17 percent increase in overall immigration cases, according to data from the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University. The numbers show yet another way the Trump administration’s crackdown on immigration is having an effect: More people are considering leaving the U.S., rather than being stuck in detention or taking on a lengthy legal battle with little hope of success.
Elsewhere the article notes that applications for voluntary departure must be approved by an immigration judge, adding that “the number of requests granted increased 50 percent in fiscal year 2017.”
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Politico’s writers concede that “the increase in applications for voluntary departure could be seen as a win for the Trump administration, which has made it a goal to get undocumented immigrants out of the country and reduce the backlog of immigration cases.” It is also a win for the country, whether Democrats are willing to acknowledge it or not.
Politico’s writers naturally find a downside to the trend, remarking on “how broad” the Trump administration’s “immigration enforcement has become, sweeping up the criminals Trump talks about alongside” people with “little to no criminal history.” By this they are referring to illegals who give birth to “anchor babies,” who are granted U.S. citizenship through a loose interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment. The disposition of such people remains a troubling issue, but is one that will remain on a back burner till the more pressing problem of stemming the flow of migrants is resolved.