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DHS: Overall migration at southern border down, but families crossing at higher pace

DHS: Overall migration at southern border down, but families crossing at higher pace
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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) unveiled new numbers on Wednesday that show a dip in migration from June, although families are crossing the border at a higher rate than one year ago. 

Overall, border crossings fell 7 percent in July, the second consecutive month in which the number of migrants crossing at the southern border decreased. More than 31,000 migrants were detained between ports of entry in July, DHS said, compared to roughly 34,000 in June and more than 40,000 in May. 

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“This decrease shows that when there are real consequences for breaking the law, the conduct of those considering crimes will change. In the month of July, we saw a decrease in illegal border crossings because human traffickers and Transnational Criminal Organizations were put on notice that this Administration was increasing prosecutions of those entering the country illegally,” DHS said in a statement.

However, DHS said family migration was up 57 percent from July 2017, suggesting President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Guardian slams Trump over comments about assault on reporter Five takeaways from the first North Dakota Senate debate Watchdog org: Tillerson used million in taxpayer funds to fly throughout US MORE's “zero tolerance” policy, which resulted in family separations at the border, has not been a deterrent to migration. DHS blamed recent court rulings for the development.

“[C]ourt decisions prevent us from detaining and prosecuting family unit adults. The inability to apply consequences to any law breaker ultimately threatens the safety and security of the nation and its communities,” the statement said.

Trump's policy sparked bipartisan condemnation, with politicians and activists calling it “inhumane” and some likening detention facilities for children to jails. Trump ended the policy after the backlash.

However, new criticism emerged after the administration failed to reunify hundreds of separated migrant families by a court-ordered deadline last month.

Wednesday's DHS statement also said Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenTucker Carlson says he 'can't really' dine out anymore because people keep yelling at him Top Judiciary Dems call for unredacted 'zero tolerance' memo The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by PhRMA — Dem path to a Senate majority narrows MORE is in discussions with Mexican and Central American officials on ways to combat the root causes of migration to the U.S.