June showed sharp drop in border apprehensions

June showed sharp drop in border apprehensions
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Apprehensions of migrants at the southwest border dropped 28.5 percent from May to June, suggesting President TrumpDonald John TrumpButtigieg surges ahead of Iowa caucuses Biden leads among Latino Democrats in Texas, California Kavanaugh hailed by conservative gathering in first public speech since confirmation MORE's agreement with Mexico had a profound effect on Central American migration to the United States.

In June, Border Patrol agents apprehended 94,897 people who crossed the border with Mexico between ports of entry, down from 132,880 in May.

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The official apprehension numbers, released Wednesday, match preliminary figures reported by The Hill earlier this month.

The number of people turned away at ports of entry dropped 17 percent, with 9,447 people turned away in June, compared with 11,393 in May.

The hotter summer months usually bring a decrease in border activity, but this year's decline was more pronounced than in previous years.

In 2018, the overall apprehensions fell by 17 percent in June.

Still, apprehensions and border crossing attempts remain high. 

A senior Customs and Border Protection (CBP) official told reporters Wednesday that the border apprehension numbers are the highest for the month of June since 2004.

"That said, that we're very optimistic and hoping to see sustainment as Mexico continues to deploy resources to their southern border and continues to beef up their border security," said the official.

Trump threatened to enforce tariffs on all Mexican goods after more than 130,000 people were apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border in May.

In response, the Mexican government pledged to curb migration from Central America, avoiding the threatened tariffs by deploying its newly created National Guard to detain migrants at the country's southern and northern borders.

The CBP official said in one instance in June, Mexican troops on the country's border with the U.S. broke up a group of 200 migrants. Only 60 members of that group were eventually intercepted by the Border Patrol on U.S. territory.

The cross-border collaboration has apparently helped quell attempts to cross the border in large groups — defined as groups of 100 people or more. In May, U.S. authorities intercepted 48 such groups, 15 in June, and only two so far in July, the official said.

Despite the reduction in numbers, the trends that have defined the rapid growth in Central American migration to the United States are still present.

The CBP official said Guatemalan and Honduran migrants, a majority of them traveling in families, continue to form the bulk of migrants apprehended at the border.

And 57,389 people, a majority of those apprehended at the border, were traveling as part of family units.

The number of single adults apprehended dropped 18 percent, with 30,130 people apprehended in June compared with 36,900 in May. 

The official recognized the drop, but noted that number is 54 percent higher than the roughly 20,000 single adults apprehended at the border in the same period last year.