As Border Crossings Rise, Trump Vents Frustration on Illegal Immigration
President Trump reached back to some of his most visceral campaign rhetoric against illegal immigration on Thursday as his administration released new figures showing a surge in March in the number of people caught crossing the border unlawfully.
The new numbers come as Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen tries to make the case that National Guard troops along the southwest border are needed to contain a crisis, even as longer-term figures show that the number of illegal border crossings remains at the lowest levels since the early 1970s.
The plan to use National Guard units was arranged hastily after Trump — who has been frustrated with his inability to get Congress or Mexico to pay for a border wall — said publicly this week that he wanted to use the military to patrol the border until the wall is built.
Immigrant advocates and many Democrats have argued that the emergency is being manufactured to stoke Trump’s political base and demonize immigrants.
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