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Thursday, June 29, 2017

Lawrence Solomon: Trump's detractors are convinced he's a buffoon. So why does he keep winning?

President Trump’s detractors consider him a buffoon who can’t get anything done. They do so at their peril. In just five months in office, Trump has racked up a jaw-dropping string of accomplishments. This “buffoon” is buffaloing his critics, most of whom are too blind to see how effectively he’s implementing his agenda.

Trump is delivering in spades on one of his most publicized campaign promises — keeping illegal immigrants out of the United States and deporting the worst of those who made it into the country. Even without building his wall, illegal immigration is down 67 per cent over last year’s levels, mostly on the strength of Trump’s tough talk and tough action.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has been arresting illegals at the rate of about 14,000 per month, a 38 per cent increase over the same period last year. Gang members — such as the 10,000-strong El Salvador-based MS-13 that thrived during the Obama years — are in particular being targeted. ICE’s anti-gang Surge force, in one recent six-week operation alone, captured 1,378 illegals, including 1,095 associated with gangs. Little wonder that would-be illegals, knowing they’re likely to be caught and deported, are reluctant to give the human smugglers the US$8,000 or more needed to smuggle them across the border. That price tag — up from US$5,000 under Obama, when smugglers faced fewer risks — is itself is a metric of Trump’s effectiveness in combatting illegal immigration. With last week’s announcement that immigrants won’t be eligible for welfare for five years, the U.S. becomes less appealing still to those who would come for the benefits more than for the freedoms...

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