Border apprehensions drop in January

Border apprehensions drop in January
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Apprehensions of undocumented immigrants dropped 27 percent from December to January, but were still up significantly from the same period a year ago. 

Numbers released Monday by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) showed 31,575 people were apprehended trying to cross the border outside formal ports of entry in January, compared with 43,254 in December.

Border Patrol reported 24,170 apprehensions in January 2016.

Inadmissible aliens — those turned away at ports of entry — at the southwestern border also plummeted, to 10,899 in January from 15,177 in December.

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Illegal border crossings are usually lower in the colder winter months than they are in spring.

According to the report, overall numbers were still high, mainly due to crossings by "family units and unaccompanied children from Central America, Haitian nationals migrating from Brazil, and Cuban nationals."

In 2016, less than half of all undocumented border crossers were Mexican. Since the end of the great recession, net migration from Mexico has been negative, meaning more Mexicans have left than come into the United States.

In the first months of fiscal 2017, illegal immigration has been driven by unaccompanied minors and family units trying to cross the border.

From October to January, apprehensions of unaccompanied minors increased by 26 percent compared with the previous year, and family unit apprehensions rose by 120 percent.

But apprehensions of family units from the Northern Triangle — Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador — and Mexico decreased significantly in the same period.

Apprehensions of individuals traveling as families from El Salvador decreased nearly 30 percent, to 19,018; from Guatemala 29 percent, to 16,365; and from Honduras nearly 21 percent, to 16,027.

Apprehensions of Mexicans traveling in family units plummeted 65 percent, to 1,187.