Early numbers show decline in border arrests

Early numbers show decline in border arrests
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Preliminary data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) shows a decline in recent weeks of migrant families illegally crossing into the U.S. from Mexico, according to The Washington Post.

In May, U.S. authorities detained more than 85,000 members of family units at the border, a daily average of nearly 2,800. Since the beginning of June, that number has declined by about 13 percent, according to the Post.

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Officials told the Post they expect an overall decline in border arrests of between 15 and 20 percent from May, during which migration levels reached a 13-year high and U.S. border officials detained more than 144,000 people.

The numbers come in the wake of Mexico committing to increase border security as part of a deal the Trump administration and the administration of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador made earlier this month to avert 5 percent tariffs on Mexican imports.

Since the deal was reached, Mexico has deployed thousands of national guard forces to its southern border to push back Central American migrants on their way through Mexico to the U.S. border. The U.S. has also expanded the Migrant Protection Protocols program to send more asylum-seekers across the border to await their court hearings, according to the Post.

As Mexican efforts have been focused on the southern regions of the country, the full effect of the crackdown could take time to materialize in U.S. crossing data, according to the Post.

“We are seeing initial actions and we are seeing some signs they’re having an impact,” a U.S. official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss preliminary figures told the Post. “But I think it’s still too early to tell.”

Crossings typically surge in the spring in connection with increased demand for farm labor, but Department of Homeland Security officials told the Post that migration patterns seem less aligned with seasonal demand than in past years. If the decline continues, June will be the first month in 2019 that CBP recorded a drop in enforcement actions, according to the Post.

CBP did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.