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    Sputnik spoke to Dave Ray, director of communications at Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), to find out more about the illegal immigration situation in the United States right now.

    Sputnik: It’s been reported that 17,000 people have tried to cross the southwest border of the US, hitting a record level in the three months since President Trump halted family separations at the border. Does this mean that the existing border system is not working?

    Dave Ray: President Trump has done more than any president in recent US history to regain control of immigration, but we still have a problem with illegal immigration. However, the vast majority of what we’re seeing with the Central Americans is abuse of our asylum system.  Because of a decades-old court settlement that prevents children from being detained for more than 20 days, those wishing to illegally immigrate to the US are arriving with children in tow. The children, in essence, are their “get out of jail free card,” ensuring that the adults and accompanying children can only be detained for 20 days. They are then released (hence the phrase ‘catch and release’), to await a court date that won’t come for 4 years or longer. Most of them, as high as 80 percent, will never show up for their hearing and continue to live illegally here in the US. Because of legal loopholes in our political asylum system, our asylum laws are being used, en masse, to sidestep the legal immigration process.

    Sputnik: What kind of instruments can Border Patrol effectively use to prevent the infiltration of illegal migrants into the US?

    Dave Ray: Construction of the border wall, the adoption of mandatory E-Verify — an electronic system that ensure that only those who can legally work in the US are able to get a job here — closing down sanctuary cities – cities and municipalities that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement — and closing loopholes in our asylum laws would all work together to deter and prevent future illegal immigration to the US.

    Sputnik: Do you think that the proposed construction of a wall could prevent the current migration flow?

    Dave Ray: Yes. In fact in areas where a border wall has already been built, illegal immigration has decreased dramatically. While a border wall won’t stop everyone, it would certainly slow the flow of illegal immigration and make the job of the Border Patrol much safer and easier. In this last week, three Border Patrol agents have been attacked at the border. The border wall would not only discourage future illegal immigration, but make guarding our borders much safer.

    Sputnik: Donald Trump tweeted today about military personnel that could be deployed near the southern border. Could such a move prevent the caravan from reaching the US?

    Dave Ray: A law, known as “The Posse Comitatus Act,” prevents the use of US military from performing civilian duties, such as law enforcement or border enforcement. But dispatching the military to the border would allow the Border Patrol to be freed up from some of their duties and ensure that they could focus all of their time and attention on immigration enforcement.

    Sputnik: Do you think that the caravan story and, broadly speaking, the migration crisis could become one of the hottest topics ahead of the midterms?

    Dave Ray: Absolutely. Immigration is a top issue for voters and it will remain so until the US is able to control the flow of illegal aliens, drugs, human trafficking and would-be terrorists into our nation.

    Sputnik: What strategy does the US government need to follow regarding the nearly 12 million illegal migrant on US territory?

    Dave Ray: With the adoption of mandatory E-Verify, it will be increasingly difficult for the nation’s large illegal alien population to work in the US, and most of them will return home. Illegal aliens, like the rest of us, are rational people. And if they can no longer make a living here, they will return to where they can work legally and seek a better future there.

    Sputnik: What are your arguments in response to those who claim that cheap labor is necessary for America’s booming economy?

    Dave Ray: There’s nothing cheap about illegal alien labor, as illegal immigrants cost US taxpayers roughly $116 billion a year in social services and support. In areas where the cost of labor is too high to be competitive, US companies will mechanize. They’ve already done so in many aspects of agriculture and manufacturing.

    The views expressed in this article are those of the speaker, and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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