Southwest border apprehensions plummet in June

Southwest border apprehensions plummet in June
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Apprehensions at the U.S.-Mexico border plummeted by 28 percent from May to June, according to preliminary Homeland Security numbers reviewed by The Hill.

In June, officials apprehended approximately 95,500 people who crossed the border illegally, compared to 132,887 in May.

The drop in border crossings between ports of entry was led by a 32 percent decrease in family units attempting to cross.

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Approximately 57,300 family units were apprehended in June, compared to 84,542 in May.

The number of unaccompanied minors caught crossing the border dropped nearly 37 percent, from 11,507 in June to around 7,300 in May.

These calculations are based on preliminary numbers, as the Department of Homeland Security has not released its official border statistics for June.

Illegal crossings at the southern border tend to drop off in the hotter summer months, but this year's decline is more pronounced than in previous years.

In 2018, for instance, apprehensions went down nearly 17 percent from May to June, a typical seasonal drop off.

Experts had predicted this year's seasonal adjustment would be smaller than in previous years, as Central American migrants are now more likely to use buses to cross through Mexico, rather than walking and hitching on freight trains, somewhat negating the effects of high temperatures.

But Mexico has amped up its interior immigration enforcement, using its newly created National Guard to patrol both its southern and northern borders to prevent Central American migrants from reaching the United States.

As part of an agreement reached after President TrumpDonald John TrumpRepublicans consider skipping witnesses in Trump impeachment trial Bombshell Afghanistan report bolsters calls for end to 'forever wars' Lawmakers dismiss Chinese retaliatory threat to US tech MORE threatened to impose tariffs on Mexican goods unless immigrant flows ebbed, Mexico has also been accepting Central Americans returned from the United States through the so-called Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), also known as "remain in Mexico."

Under MPP, some Central American migrants who request asylum in the United States are returned to Mexico while their case is reviewed in U.S. immigration court.

According to the preliminary Homeland Security numbers, the demographics of migration patterns remained mostly unchanged despite the large reduction in numbers.

Of the approximately 95,500 people apprehended in May, about 79,600 were not Mexican nationals. That's consistent with migration patterns seen since at least 2017, as Central American asylum-seekers traveling in family units have formed the bulk of apprehended migrants, overtaking single adult Mexicans.

The number of single adults apprehended at the border dropped in June, with approximately 30,900 apprehensions, a 16 percent reduction from May's 36,838 apprehensions.