The Department of Homeland Security announced this week that apprehensions at the southwest U.S. and Mexico border dropped significantly in June once the Mexican government agreed to increase its immigration enforcement efforts after President Trump threatened the country with punitive tariffs.
Data from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) indicated that there was a 28 percent drop in apprehensions at the border, a decrease from the 144,278 individuals that were detained in May. While critics of the Trump Administration argued that the decrease was instead due to the extreme “summer heat,” the White House issued a statement indicating that decrease in apprehensions at the border “outpaces last year’s decline by 11 percent” during the same summer timeframe. This data does not include the immigrants who approach ports of entry, only the “would-be” immigrants that are apprehended attempting to illegally enter the U.S.
The Department of Homeland Security indicated that reduced numbers of immigrants apprehended “accounts for decreases across all demographics, including unaccompanied minors, family units and single adults, as well as decreases in migrants from all Northern Triangle countries, particularly those coming from Guatemala.”
Sheriff Marl Lamb, a Pinal County Arizona Sheriff said things were getting really bad at the U.S.-Mexico border. “Decreasing apprehension numbers will provide greater opportunities for the DHS to address capacity challenges for those in custody and speed the movement of unaccompanied children into Health and Human Services (HHS) care,” the statement said.
“On June 10th, the United States will impose a 5% Tariff on all goods coming into our Country from Mexico, until such time as illegal migrants coming through Mexico, and into our Country, STOP,” President Trump warned Mexico on May 30. “The Tariff will gradually increase until the Illegal Immigration problem is remedied, …at which time the Tariffs will be removed. Details from the White House to follow.”
Shortly after Trump’s threat, Mexico announced that it had frozen the bank accounts of 26 people who they thought to “have presumably participated in migrant smuggling and the organization of illegal migrant caravans.”
In June, Mexico agreed to send thousands of National Guard troops throughout the country, which included its northern and southern borders. They also agreed to increase actions to fight against human trafficking and provide the necessary actions needed to coordinate with the U.S to share information to “better protect and secure our common border.”
According to law enforcement and administration officials, the president’s aggressive stance for the deal with Mexico has made a huge difference. Not only have immigrants been helped more efficiently, but morale among law enforcement agents at the border has increased.
“I think it’s a combination of a few things,” said Deputy Commissioner for U.S. Customs and Border Protection Robert Perez. “I think it certainly is an unprecedented agreement that we’ve made with Mexico, that the president was able to secure about a month ago. We are definitely seeing and are encouraged by the steps Mexico has taken.”