The prospect of Donald Trump’s border wall becoming a reality has illegal immigrants racing for the U.S.
An investigative report by Reuters quantitatively and qualitatively shows the Republican front-runner’s vow to secure the border has struck fear into the hearts of would-be illegal aliens. The news service interviewed migrants and smugglers for Tuesday’s report, in addition to pouring over Customs and Border Patrol data.
“They think they need to take advantage while they can,” said Blanca Rivera, who manages a Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, migrant shelter.
CBP data revealed 150,304 people were apprehended trying to illegal enter the U.S. through its southern border between October and February 2015 – a 24 percent jump over the previous year. Unaccompanied minors detained illegally entering the U.S. from October to January – 20,455 – skyrocketed 100 percent compared to the previous year.
Isaias Franco, a 46-year-old from El Salvador who was deported from the U.S. last year, told Reuters from Ciudad Juarez that he was determined to return.
“If Trump wins, we’re all screwed and all Latinos are screwed,” Franco said. “You watch the news … There’s a lot of fear among Latinos.”
Franco’s comments come in conjunction with recent news reports featuring former Mexican presidents Vicente Fox and Felipe Calderón denouncing Trump. They are livid at the Republican’s promise to make Mexico pay for the border wall’s construction.
“We are not going to pay any single cent for such a stupid wall! And it’s going to be completely useless,” Calderón said at the AmCham Egypt for Business Conference on Feb. 7, WND reported.
“I’m not going to pay for that f—ing wall! He should pay for it. He’s got the money,” Fox added during a Feb. 25 interview with Fusion’s Jorge Ramos, WND reported.
Trump’s immigration stance has won him strong support among Republican primary voters since last August, and a slew of wins on Super Tuesday. The billionaire secured victories in Georgia, Virginia, Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Massachusetts and Vermont.
In Texas, where he came in second to home-state Sen. Ted Cruz, he did remarkably well with border communities. Trump won almost 35 percent of the vote in Webb County, where Laredo is the county seat, compared with 28.2 percent for Cruz, the Guardian reported.
“He’s strong and he’s very confident,” said 42-year-old corrections officer Erick Barroso. “I don’t support everything he says, but … he’s not afraid to say it. I see that as a strong characteristic.”