May 24, 2017 (San Diego) This is a touchy subject that can lead to very heated discussion in the United States. This is why it is important to give people real data. The first impression that many Americans have, even at the border, is that most undocumented immigrants into the United States who are coming through the southern border are single Mexican males. That is not quite correct.
According to a Department of Homeland Security report:
While the total number of apprehensions by the USBP nationwide between ports of entry increased in FY 2016 from FY 2015, USBP apprehensions remain lower than both FY 2014 and FY 2013. Meanwhile, the demographics of illegal migration on our southern border have changed significantly over the last 15 years – far fewer Mexicans and single adults are attempting to cross the border without authorization, but more families and unaccompanied children are fleeing poverty and violence in Central America. In 2014, Central Americans apprehended on the southern border outnumbered Mexicans for the first time. In 2016, Central Americans again outnumbered Mexicans in apprehensions on the southern border.
In FY 2016, the USBP apprehended a total of 59,757 unaccompanied children and 77,857 family units nationwide.
There is more. Immigration through the southern border is down. However, the Department of Homeland Security has produced a report on overstays. These visa overstays include anybody who stayed in the United States for even one day beyond the term of their visa.
These travelers include students, tourists, and business travelers, and are counted at both airports and seaports. We also have a problem making sure people do not overstay their visas. The total numbers for the fiscal year 2016 are as follows:
DHS has determined that there were 50,437,278 in-scope nonimmigrant admissions3 to the United States through air or sea POEs who were expected to depart in FY 2016, which represents the majority of annual nonimmigrant admissions. Of this number, DHS calculated a total overstay rate of 1.47 percent, or 739,478 individuals.
Overstays are at this point represent a larger number of immigrants than the total of people coming across the border. There is more. Many of them are from Europe, Asia, and Africa. In other words, this is a very varied population.
These numbers prove that immigration is not a simple thing. They also prove the futility of a wall with Mexico. The suspicion that has built over the years that many people, some famous, just overstayed visas, among them Arnold Shwartzenneger, and yes Melania Trump, is now very real.
We now have numbers, from the Federal Government, that truly prove how futile a wall will be. Even if it will make people feel good.