Migrant apprehensions plummet in June

Border Report

DHS attributes decrease to new tactics, international partnerships

In this Feb. 5, 2019, file photo, Border Patrol agent Vincent Pirro looks on near a border wall that separates the cities of Tijuana, Mexico, and San Diego, in San Diego. Migrant apprehensions along the Southwest border were down 28 percent for June compared to May. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)

EL PASO, Texas — Migrant apprehensions along the Southwest border were down 28 percent for June compared to May, a sharp decrease attributed in part to Mexico’s steppedup enforcement of its own immigration laws.

A total of 104,344 migrants were apprehended by U.S. authorities in June, compared to 144,278 in May, the Department of Homeland Security said in a news release Tuesday. No breakdown was immediately available for the El Paso Sector.

The reduction in apprehensions can be seen across the board: single adults, family units and unaccompanied minors, the agency reported. There was also a noticeable decrease in detentions of Central Americans, particularly those from Guatemala, DHS said.

The agency highlighted shuffling of personnel to hot spots along the border with Mexico, as well as support from the Department of Defense for containment efforts. It also mentioned additional funding from Congress.

DHS also gave a nod to its international partners. “Since the administration reached a new agreement with Mexico, we’ve seen a substantial increase in the number of interdictions on the Mexican side,” the release said.

On June 7, the Trump administration received a commitment from Mexico to crack down on the flow of migrants from Central America and other countries who were making their way to the U.S. border to apply for asylum.

Earlier, DHS Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan said he expected between a 25 percent to a 30 percent drop in apprehensions for June. Migrant activity tends to decrease in summer, although usually by 15 percent or so, McAleenan said.

Mexican border cities like Juarez have seen a sharp decrease in new arrivals since mid-June, and Mexican soldiers are patrolling both the southern border with Guatemala as well as the Rio Grande to stem unauthorized crossings.

But DHS cautioned that the migrant crisis isn’t over.

“These initiatives are making an impact. However, we are still in an ongoing border security and humanitarian crisis. U.S. Border Patrol made 688,375 apprehensions through the end of June,” which represents a 140 percent increase from the same time last year, the agency said.

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