Border Patrol union chief: Supreme Court asylum ruling ‘right decision’
PHOENIX — The president of the Border Patrol union says he believes the recent Supreme Court ruling allowing enforcement of a policy that prevents most Central American migrants from seeking asylum in the U.S. is the “right decision.”
“You’re going to see a huge drop (in activity at the border),” Brandon Judd told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News on Thursday.
The President Donald Trump administration policy is meant to deny asylum to anyone who passes through another country on the way to the U.S. without seeking protection there.
“This ruling, obviously, will not allow people to exploit the immigration loopholes that have existed,” Judd said.
“And as long as we remove that magnet, then you’re going to see a drop in that illegal immigration.”
Numbers have been already dropping throughout the summer.
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan said in July he expected more than just a seasonal decline due to Mexico’s efforts to better enforce laws making an impact.
That month, there were 82,049 people encountered by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, down 21% from June when there were 104,344 people and down 43% from May.
Judd said he also believes the decrease isn’t just because of the heat.
“In 26 years on the job, I’ve seen the ebbs and flows, and I’ve seen the drops that have been caused by the summer months,” he said.
“These drops that we’re seeing right now are abnormal drops. …This is strictly based upon the administration’s policies.”
The administration has said that it wants to close the gap between an initial asylum screening that most people pass and a final decision on asylum that most people do not win.
Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor dissented from the high-court’s order, with Sotomayor saying the policy “seeks to upend longstanding practices regarding refugees who seek shelter from persecution.”
The Trump administration has another plan to curb the number of people crossing into the country: constructing 450-500 miles of border wall by the end of 2020.
Judd said he thinks this will also have a big impact on immigration numbers.
“I worked (in the Bisbee area) before we had physical barriers, and the illegal immigration was absolutely out of control,” he said.
“The moment we put those physical barriers up, we had dropped exponentially.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.