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DHS: Border apprehensions down 40 percent in Trump's first year

DHS: Border apprehensions down 40 percent in Trump's first year
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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on Tuesday released its final border apprehension numbers for calendar year 2017, showing a 40 percent drop from the previous year's total.
 
The Border Patrol apprehended 351,084 people attempting illegal crossings in 2017, compared to 614,739 in 2016.
 
“The final border apprehension numbers of 2017, specifically at the southern border, undeniably prove the effectiveness of President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's debate showdown Arpaio files libel suit against New York Times IMF's Christine Lagarde delays trip to Middle East MORE’s commitment to securing our borders," said DHS acting press secretary Tyler Houlton in a statement. "This administration has overseen a 40 percent decrease in 2017 compared with the last year of Obama’s presidency."
 
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DHS normally presents its numbers by fiscal year, counted from October to September, but normal migration patterns changed abruptly following President Trump's inauguration in January of 2017. 
 
There were 415,191 border apprehensions in fiscal year 2017, a 26 percent decrease from the 563,204 apprehensions in fiscal year 2016.
 
Border apprehension numbers are used as the standard indicator for the number of illegal crossing attempts.
 
Despite the decrease, the numbers showed an uptick in October, November and December of 2017.
 
The Border Patrol apprehended 40,513 people attempting illegal crossings in December, the highest total since Trump's first full month in office in February. The December numbers are a 30 percent drop from the 58,412 detentions in December of 2016.
 
"U.S. Border Patrol apprehensions in Fiscal Year 2017 were at the lowest level in 45 years," said Houlton. "The significant increase over the last month in the number of family units and unaccompanied children coming across the border illegally highlights the dire need for Congress to immediately adopt responsible pro-American immigration reforms."
 
Congress and Trump are deep in negotiations over a replacement for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and border security measures to accompany it. 
 
Members of Congress, including bipartisan leadership, met with Trump at the White House Tuesday to work on a compromise bill.
 
Trump has said he won't sign a DACA fix without funding for his proposed border wall.
 
"Current loopholes in our immigration laws have created an incentive for illegal immigrants who knowingly exploit these same loopholes to take advantage of our generosity," said Houlton. "The Secretary will require fixes to these loopholes as part of any immigration package negotiated today at the White House.”