Speed Reads

the wall

Even before it's built, Trump's wall is traumatizing would-be immigrants

Many recent deportees and other potential immigrants along the Mexican border to the United States are having second thoughts about whether or not to attempt an illegal crossing, the Los Angeles Times reports. "It's just too hard now with [President] Trump," said Alejandro Ramos Maceda, who was deported following a traffic charge in St. Louis, leaving his wife and daughters, who are citizens, behind in the U.S. "It's just a lot harder to cross than we thought," added another potential migrant, Vicente Vargas, 15, who turned back with a group of other teenagers after considering the crossing.

While Trump's wall has yet to be constructed and the administration has not yet bolstered its Border Patrol forces, "people are psychologically traumatized," a people smuggler told the Times.

"There's just a lot of uncertainty right now," said Jesus Arturo Madrid Rosas, a representative for Grupo Beta, a Mexican organization that assists migrants. "People don't know what's going to happen. Maybe that's keeping some people back."

The thinning traffic over the border is not even entirely Trump's doing; multiple presidential administrations have improved security, from fencing to hiring more guards. In 2016, there were just 408,870 apprehensions on the southwest border, compared with 1.6 million in 2000 or 1.1 million in 2006.

But today, "Trump, the border, deportations, roundups" are "all anyone is talking about," Sheriff Tony Estrada of Arizona's Santa Cruz County told the Los Angeles Times. "You hear it in the cafes, in the restaurants, everywhere. People are scared." Read the full report here.