Number of migrants reaching US border falls to 5-month low: Mexico

Number of migrants reaching US border falls to 5-month low: Mexico
© HERIKA MARTINEZ/AFP/Getty Images

Mexico's top diplomat said Tuesday that the number of migrants reaching the U.S.-Mexico border hit a five-month in July.

Secretary of Foreign Affairs Marcelo Ebrard told reporters Tuesday that 87,648 migrants reached Mexico's northern border in July, the lowest number since February, when 76,533 migrants were caught or rejected at the border and the recent high of 

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Compared to June, the July number marks a 16 percent fall in the number of people caught or turned away by U.S. authorities at the border.

The fall comes after the U.S. and Mexico clinched a deal in June in which the country committed to protect its southern border in a bid to cut down on the number of migrants traveling to the U.S. through Mexico.

The number cited by Ebrard includes apprehensions -- or people caught by U.S. authorities after illegally crossing into the country -- and those who turned away by U.S. border agents at designated ports of entry.

Mexico has long collaborated with the United States in border management and intelligence gathering but the efforts by the country have accelerated after the June deal. 

Ebrard is seen as the chief architect of that deal, which came about after President TrumpDonald John TrumpHarris bashes Kavanaugh's 'sham' nomination process, calls for his impeachment after sexual misconduct allegation Celebrating 'Hispanic Heritage Month' in the Age of Trump Let's not play Charlie Brown to Iran's Lucy MORE threatened to impose tariffs on Mexican goods if migrant numbers did not decrease.

But the deal has put Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador in a difficult position, as he promised a humanitarian approach to migration management, and Trump remains unpopular in the country.

Mexican public opinion, however, has turned against Central American migrants. 

A poll released earlier this month by local daily Reforma and The Washington Post showed 64 percent of Mexicans believe migrants are a burden on the country, and 51 percent agree with using the newly minted National Guard to combat migration.