U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Nogales Bicycle Unit arrest a man July 29, 2019, suspected of illegally entering the United States by scaling over the internal boundary fence. (CBP photo)

Border Numbers Fall for Third Month in a Row, But Remain High

U.S. Customs and Border Protection released the agency’s enforcement actions for August 2019 during a press briefing Tuesday at the White House. Through the month of August, the total number of people apprehended or found to be inadmissible was 64,006; this is a 22% decline from 82,055 in July and a 56% decline since the May peak of 144,255.

“Under President Trump’s leadership, we’ve been able to utilize a number of tools to help begin to mitigate, but not end, the national security and humanitarian crisis at the southern border,” said Acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan. “The continued drop in enforcement actions is encouraging, but make no mistake, we’re still in a crisis and more must be done. Until Congress makes targeted changes to immigration laws, we will continue to see stark challenges.”

Recent domestic policy initiatives and international agreements to address legal and illegal immigration have contributed to the decline, including: agreements with Guatemala to address irregular migration, the Migrant Protection Protocols with Mexico, the final rule regarding non-Mexican asylum seekers at the southern border, interior enforcement operations, and international cooperation between the United States and Central American countries, particularly efforts to disrupt and dismantle alien smuggling organizations.

Traditionally enforcement actions in August have been higher than July during six of the past eight years, confirming that this year’s decrease from July to August is not just a traditional seasonal decrease. In Fiscal Year 2018, August apprehensions were 16% higher than July.

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