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Border Patrol Agents take in to custody a 22-year-old women from El Salvador and her 5 and 3-year-old children after crossing the river from Mexico near Mission, Texas, on Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019. Courtney Sacco/Caller-Times
Border Patrol Agents take into custody a 22-year-old woman from El Salvador and her 5 and 3-year-old children after crossing the river from Mexico near Mission, Texas, on Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019. Courtney Sacco/Caller-Times

The real crisis on the border

An abrupt increase in border crossings and irregular oversight measures by the Donald Trump government demonstrate a radically different crisis than the one…

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Justifying his National Emergency declaration has been a challenge for President Trump.

Between massive lawsuits and a bawdy criticism, the Administration's strategy to avoid Congress and obtain funds for a border wall has been perceived as a whim with racist nuances.

Simultaneously, reports of mistreatment of detained immigrants, new figures from separated families and the inability of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to defend the detention mechanisms of her department have demonstrated once again the absolute disaster of this government when trying to keep his anti-immigrant policies in the legal sphere.

Last Thursday, national reports exposed the excessive monitoring by the Administration against activists and journalists who entered the country through the border with Mexico while accompanying or covering the situation of undocumented immigrants.

According to the New York Times, an internal government document suggested the specific selection of immigration activists and journalists at border entry points to be detained and examined in an additional manner.

The names on the list were of people who, "had traveled with the caravans of migrants when they arrived in the border cities of Mexico from Central America to seek asylum."

While Customs and Border Protection argue that they have identified the people because they, "may have had information regarding attacks against the U.S. Border Patrol," last November, organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) have denounced a flagrant violation of rights.

"The implications of this are really disturbing," said the organization's lawyer, Esha Bhandari. "It is unconstitutional for the government to target people for punishment or retaliation based on their first amendment protected activity."

While the government insists that the "emergency" on the border is due to illegal crossings by undocumented immigrants - decorated with government hype figures of violence in neighboring areas - the real crisis is precisely that generated by the Administration’s policies.

The presidential demagoguery and the administrative chaos following policies such as the zero-tolerance have resulted in the weakening of the government's credibility and a direct proportional response on the part of the immigrants.

According to data from the Border Patrol, during the month of February more than 66,000 immigrants were arrested at the border, representing the highest total number during a single month in more than a decade.

What is most striking is that more than 80% of the arrests were made at ports of entry and, according to The Independent, "many of the immigrants have voluntarily surrendered on Border Patrol stations."

The majority are families or children who travel alone and who claim to flee violence in their countries - which for the Administration classifies as a humanitarian crisis when it comes to countries like Venezuela.

In all eyes, every single move made by the president on the border has backfired.

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