A pro-Trump organization is running video billboards on the sides of trucks in the Washington, D.C., area this week that display an automated ticker estimating the number of attempted illegal border crossings so far this year.
The group, America First Policies, announced in a press release Wednesday that the number of illegal crossings along the U.S.-Mexico border represent a “ticking time bomb” that Washington has so far failed to address. As of Thursday afternoon, the ticker estimated that just over 68,000 illegal border crossings had been attempted so far in 2019.
The group says its ticker is based on data from last year’s U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s report on southwest border apprehensions, as well as data from the first two months of fiscal year 2019.
“Our ticker is a real-time reminder of the ticking time bomb happening at our border, and a wake-up call to Congress that the time has come, quite literally, to build the wall,” said Erin Montgomery, the group’s communications director.
“Every 48 seconds, another person attempts to illegally cross our southern border. That’s 1,809 people per day. How many illegal crossings will it take before Congress follows President Trump’s lead and puts the safety and security of the American people first?” she added.
The mobile billboard campaign is part of the group’s $1.1 million ad campaign coinciding with congressional negotiations on immigration reform and border security, which are taking place on Capitol Hill as Congress hopes to avert a Feb. 15 deadline when funding runs out for about a quarter of the federal government.
Data from the Department of Homeland Security indicates that about 64.8 percent of illegal border crossings end in apprehension by Border Protection agents.