According to a new study from the Institute for Defense Analyses, the United States can make a considerable dent in illegal immigration simply by prosecuting those who cross the border without authorization. The study, which looked closely at federal data from 2005 to 2012, found that those immigrants who faced consequences for crossing the border (other than deportation) were much less likely to try crossing a second time. This is in contrast to many illegal immigrants who have been deported multiple times, such as the one who killed Kate Steinle in San Francisco in 2015. It comes down to law enforcement, plain and simple, and it’s time we did more of it.

The researchers focused their attention on the Border Patrol’s Consequence Delivery System program, which was in effect from 2008 until 2012. Under this program, the Border Patrol levied three different sets of consequences for illegal immigrants caught at the border. In some cases, the offender was denied any possibility of getting a visa for at least five years. In others, they were deported to an area far from where they were apprehended in the hopes of making it more difficult for them to re-connect with smugglers. The final group was prosecuted with criminal charges.

According to the new study, the results were remarkable. Prior to the CDS program, 28.1% of illegal immigrants were re-arrested within 18 months of their original deportation. Once CDS was in place, however, that number fell to 17.5%. Not a bad return for something as simple as…actually having a consequence in place for breaking the law!

Under President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the U.S. has moved towards a zero-tolerance policy for illegal immigration. Though those efforts have been stymied by the outcry over family detentions at the border, there’s no doubt that this administration is doing more than any previous to curb this nation-killing scourge.

Just this week, the director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that the administration was rolling out a new effort to deport immigrants caught cheating on welfare programs or committing other forms of fraud.

“What is new is that we’re expanding the categories of people who are going to be receiving NTAs,” said Director L. Francis Cissna. “To, most principally, people who applied for a benefit and have no underlying lawful status.”

NTAs are “notices to appear” at a deportation hearing.

The move solidifies the overall direction the Trump administration is taking against immigrants both legal and illegal as the president cracks down on those migrants who take advantage of public taxpayer safety nets.