The Trump administration stated there was a 30% decrease in apprehensions from July to August on the southern U.S. border, amid summer heat and a crackdown on both sides of the border to restrict migrants.
Acting Commissioner for Customs and Border Protection Mark Morgan said Monday that the percentage of border crossers traveling as families also fell from around 65 to 70% of all migrants to 55%.
Morgan credited the efforts of President Donald Trump to reduce immigration, as well as the clampdown on migrants traveling north by the Mexican government, which he said resulted in a reduction of 56 percent in three months.
“Why do we see in 90 days a 56 percent reduction? The president has made it very clear that he’s going to use every tool available to him and his administration to address this crisis at the southern border,” he said from the White House briefing room.
The CBP and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers also built 65 miles of border wall and are planning to build the rest by the end of 2020 to deter migrants at the border, Morgan said.
“Every single mile of wall is built, this country is more safe,” he said.
The Border Patrol apprehended just over 50,600 people at the southern border in August.
Mexico also has “stepped up” as a excellent partner, Mr. Morgan said, even dispatching a national border security guard division.
President Trump threatened to impose tariffs on Mexican goods in June if the country failed to take stronger action to curb migrant flow to the U.S. border. After Mexico said it would do more to address immigration, Trump canceled the tariffs.
Morgan said Monday that the Mexican government has apprehended roughly 134,000 people so far this year, up from 83,000 in all of 2018.
DHS and @POTUS are working together to stem the flow of illegal & irregular immigration. In August, the Department saw a 22% decline from July, as well as a 56% decline since the May peak of 144,255 individuals. https://t.co/CokYWoK4tJ pic.twitter.com/qOUdiaLtIN
— Homeland Security (@DHSgov) September 9, 2019
Need to do more
“The government of Mexico has taken meaningful and unprecedented steps to help curb the flow of illegal immigration to our border,” Morgan said, while noting later that Mexico needs “to do more,” according to The Hill.
His comments come after Trump last week lauded Mexico for sending thousands of troops to the border.
“I want to thank, again, the country of Mexico,” Trump told reporters during a briefing on Hurricane Dorian. “They have 25,000 soldiers right now protecting our border. And they’ve done a fantastic job. So we appreciate that very much. Mexico has never helped us on the border and they are now.”
The president has repeatedly blamed Democrats for failing to pass stronger immigration laws. Morgan also urged Congress to submit a plan of its own and warned that apprehensions at the border could spike without action.
“We are absolutely encouraged by the downward trend of apprehension numbers, but we know these numbers could always spike upwards,” Morgan said.
“We cannot rely solely on the government of Mexico or our Central American partners to solve the pull factors created by our broken system,” he added. “Unless the laws change, these numbers will rise again next year,” The Hill reported.
Includes reporting from the Associated Press.