Rate of child migrants declines in July

The U.S Border Patrol has apprehended 62,998 unaccompanied children crossing over the border illegally this fiscal year. 

The newly updated Figures, which span October through the end of July, found the number of children crossing over the border has been nearly cut in half over the last month. 

ADVERTISEMENT
In July 5,508 children were detained crossing the border — down from 10,628 a month earlier. 

The Health and Human Services Department earlier this week announced it would be closing three temporary shelters on Army bases set up to house the children, partially citing the decline. 

However, the government has not ruled out the possibility of an increase at a later date. 

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson touted the administration's work on the issue but said "the current numbers are still higher than the number of apprehensions for children and adults with children during past years."

He scolded Congress for not approving funding last week, and said he would have to reprogram $405 million in DHS funding to deal with the surge. 

"I hope when Congress returns in September it will act quickly on the request," he said. 

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said last month it was unclear why the numbers were dropping, but mentioned the administration's effort to deter children from making the trip and warning that they would not be allowed to stay has "played a part."

The Associated Press reported that some warn the surge could increase when temperatures cool.

Lawmakers have branded the surge in migrant children a humanitarian crisis, and the administration has asked Congress to approve emergency funding to deal with the problem. Lawmakers left for the August recess without hashing out a deal. 

The spike has been attributed to children migrating from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. 

The numbers show the rate of children being detained who originate from those three countries has declined from June to July, while those from Mexico has remained constant. 

In the month of July, 1,290 of those children detained were from Guatemala, while 1,647 and 1,036 were from El Salvador and Honduras, respectively. 

The largest decline came from children from Honduras, followed by El Salvador and Guatemala. In June, 3,451 children were apprehended from Honduras. In July, that number dropped to 1,036. 

The 62,998 children represent a 100 percent increase from the number of unaccompanied children detained in 2013. 

On top of that, 62,856 family units have been apprehended crossing the border this year. That is nearly five times as many families than were caught in 2013.

—Updated 6:50 p.m.