Rate of child migrants at border declines for second month

The U.S. Border Patrol apprehended fewer unaccompanied minors crossing the border in August than in any other month this year.

A total of 3,129 unaccompanied children were apprehended in August, according to a fact sheet that was quietly updated Wednesday to include the August totals. 

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That is down from 5,508 captured in July and a peak of 10,628 apprehended in June. 

So far this fiscal year, 66,127 unaccompanied children have been apprehended by the Border Patrol attempting to illegally cross into the United States. Another 66,142 family units have also been apprehended. 

Most of the children have originated from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras — eclipsing Mexico, which has been the primary driver in past years.

About 1,200 children were apprehended originating from El Salvador in August. Just over 1,000 were taken in from Mexico. Children originating from Guatemala and Honduras fell to about 800 and 390, respectively. 

Some have posited that summer temperatures might be partly contributing to the declining numbers, and the administration has taken a number of steps to combat the surge. 

The declining trend in the past two months could take some of the urgency off Congress to provide emergency funding to help deal with the children, which lawmakers were unable to agree to before leaving for the August recess. 

President Obama said the lack of action forced the administration to make executive decisions to move around resources to deal with the children. 

“So we’re seeing a significant downward trend in terms of these unaccompanied children,” Obama said last week during a press conference. 

"It’s allowed us to then engage in a broader conversation about what we need to do to get more resources down at the border," he added. "It would have been helped along if Congress had voted for the supplemental that I asked for. They did not." 

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