Today, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin K. McAleenan announced U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) enforcement actions for the month of July, indicating more than a 20 percent decrease in U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) apprehensions at the Southwest border for the second month in a row.
“The situation is improving by every available metric, but, I want to be very clear, that we remain at and beyond crisis levels in illegal crossings even as our initiatives to address irregular flows and mitigate humanitarian conditions are making an impact,” said Acting Secretary McAleenan. “Just two months ago, CBP apprehended or encountered 144,000 individuals crossing our border illegally or presenting without documents at Southwest border ports of entry—the highest monthly total in 13 years. In July, that number was 82,000, a 43% decrease from May and a 21% decrease from the June numbers.
These reductions in flows, combined with the $4.5 billion dollars in emergency supplemental funding we requested on May 1st and received from Congress six weeks ago, have allowed us to dramatically mitigate the challenging overflow conditions in our border facilities. We have been able to eliminate long waits in border stations and reduce the number of children in custody at the border.
Our partnerships with the countries of the Northern Triangle, especially Guatemala, have been increasingly effective at stemming irregular migratory flows. We continue to see Mexico making a significant effort on their border between Chiapas and Guatemala, as well as on the transportation routes of human smugglers—and we need them to continue to sustain this. While our efforts are working, the volume of migrants crossing our southern border remain at crisis levels. To address this crisis, we will continue to collaborate with our international partners and seek the targeted fixes to our immigration laws from Congress.”
According to CBP data, total July enforcement actions for individuals crossing the border from Northern Triangle countries decreased by 26 percent from June. The most significant decline was seen in migrants coming from Guatemala – a 41 percent decrease. Individuals coming from El Salvador decreased by 21 percent and individuals coming from Honduras decreased by 16 percent from June levels. Individuals coming from Mexico also decreased by 11 percent from June. Both unaccompanied alien children and family unit apprehensions decreased by more than 50 percent from May to July.
The reductions are due in large part to the recently signed agreement in June with the Government of Mexico to stem the flow of illegal immigration and the international collaboration with the Northern Triangle countries to dismantle and disrupt alien smuggling organizations. While much progress has been made, DHS is still facing an ongoing humanitarian and security crisis at the Southwest border.