Most Illegal Border Crossers Are Turned Around and Sent Home Immediately

Here’s a chart I put up a few days ago showing the total number of border apprehensions over the past several decades:

As you can see, the number of illegal border crossings has plummeted dramatically in the past two decades. It’s less than a quarter of what it was in the year 2000. Now here’s a chart showing how many people crossing the border illegally were deported under some sort of expedited removal process:

In 2000, about 1.6 million people entered the US illegally. Last year that number was about 300,000, and of that more than two-thirds were immediately deported without any kind of court hearing. This was done via expedited removals, reinstatement orders, voluntary returns, and administrative removals.

Keep this in mind the next time Donald Trump blathers about how our “stupid” immigration system allows people to cross the border and then stay for years while we process them through courts instead of just turning them around at the border. He’s lying, as usual. The vast majority of illegal border crossers are turned around and deported immediately. Only a small number get court hearings, and many of those are asylum seekers. More here.

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This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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