Illegals emboldened and getting more violent as judges thwart Trump

The border situation is getting extremely violent and ugly, according to a new report from the Washington Times:

Assaults on ICE agents reached a decade high in 2017, and assaults on Border Patrol agents have also surged in recent years, according to new government numbers that seem to back up agents' claims that illegal immigrants are increasingly looking to fight rather than flee.

The new numbers, reported by Homeland Security's inspector general, could even be underselling the problem, investigators said, because the government doesn't do a good job of tracking incidents, and agents and officers don't always report them properly.

But the report does signal renewed danger particularly on the southwest border, where agents say a surge in illegal immigration in recent years generally correlates with growing violence.

Violence?  From illegals?  The report is a contradiction of the "narrative" put out by the left, its press allies, and even some libertarians, that illegals commit far fewer crimes than the average American and therefore rule of law is unimportant.  Illegals, after all, are just moms and toddlers, coming here to celebrate Mother's Day, aren't they?  As NPR reported, "Illegal Immigration Does Not Increase Violent Crime, 4 Studies Show."

So OK, then: let the illegals in.  Violence from illegals is nothing but a right-wing myth.  Never mind about that rule of law stuff.

Now we have a new surge of border mayhem targeting law enforcement.

Obviously, something is going on.

To take an incentive-based look at what that might be, there are several possibilities.

One: President Trump's crackdown on illegal border-crossers is ending the free-for-all illegal crossers have up until now benefited from.  This Border Patrol chart, from Washington Post lefty columnist Catherine Rampell, shows a clear upward trend in 2018.  So instead of turning themselves in to the Border Patrol for diaper service, a warm bed, Meals on Wheels, and a bus ticket or free flight to their destination of choice, plenty of the people who pay cartels to get them across are finding themselves busted.  Obviously, the Border Patrol is being restored to its original mission, and that's cutting into one perverse incentive to immigrate illegally, because word gets around.

But it doesn't quite explain the violence.  It would only explain an increased willingness of illegal border crossers to run away from, not toward, ICE and Border Patrol agents.

The violence is likely coming from money matters, among both cartels and their clients.

First, stepped up enforcement of illegal border crossings is costly – to cartels, who make billions off these illegal crossings.  The knowledge that a bust may happen is enough to incentivize at least some would-be border-crossers from not wanting to cross illegally at all, and that means less "business" coming in for the cartels.  It's obviously enough to make them mean.

Two, busts are costly for cartels in another way: losing a man to jail for one of Trump's stepped up busts of illegal border-crossing operations means having to find a replacement and train that person, which costs cartels more cash.  Like any business operation, cartels raise their prices to illegals to cover the costs – which is why the price of a coyote-guided illegal crossing has gone up – neighborhood of $6,000 or so, from Central America, and probably higher now.

Higher prices mean fewer customers – which, again, costs cartels money as it shrivels their markets further.  They are cartels, after all.  They get really nasty when they lose money.

 But most businesses diversify when business goes south.

Certain other factors seem to be working toward cartels' advantage.  One of those is the presence of left-wing judges who throw consistent roadblocks at President Trump every time he tries to enforce rule of law on the border.  Trump has not been able to get rid of DACA, a non-law that was nothing but an executive order drawn out of the air by a leftist president using his pen and phone for one.  Nor has he been able to enact family separations from group border-crossers apprehended crossing illegally as a disincentive to abusing the asylum system.  The crying toddler pictures served the cartel aims handsomely, creating incentives for more business.  Nor has he been successful (at least until recently) at keeping unvetted nationals from terrorist states out.  What's more, the Border Patrol and ICE have been sanctioned in court for defending themselves from border rock-throwers and shooters, ending up in big payouts to lawbreakers at lawmen's expense.  The cartels watch these things and can logically conclude, from their business perspective, that once a matter reaches a court level, leftist judges will ensure that illegals always win.  That, too, is good for the cartel business.

Nobody gets involved in violence, not even cartels, unless the risk-to-reward ratio is acceptable.  Obviously, left-wing judges have lowered the risks and stepped up the rewards as Trump has shrunk the market.  If you know you're going to get off because the justice system and the left-wing press will always be on your side, you take the risk.  That seems to be what's fueling this ugly trend.

A controlled border would not have this violence.  An uncontrolled one, with just enough comfort for lawbreakers, might just.  That underlines just how important it is to allow President Trump the leeway he needs to enact his border control agenda.  Voters need to figure this out, because the violence at the border shows that the cartels already have.

Image credit: U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, via Flickrpublic domain.

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