U.S. Border Patrol arrests along the southern border decreased for the first time in June since January, according to preliminary internal data obtained by CNN.
Last month, there were about 95,000 apprehensions along the US-Mexico border, a reduction of about 28% from the 132,887 apprehensions in May, the highest month in more than a decade. Despite the drop, June 2019 saw far more arrests than the same month last year, when there were 34,089 apprehensions.
The numbers are in line with the forecasts of Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan, who said Friday that it looked like there would be a 25% decrease in the number of migrants crossing the US-Mexico border in June.
A decline in border crossings is common during the hot summer months, though McAleenan downplayed the role of seasonal trends in migration, saying he hopes to know by the end of July whether initiatives taken by U.S. governments and Mexico will have a continuing impact.
Customs and Border Protection does not comment on unofficial numbers, according to a spokesperson. The agency generally publishes final monthly numbers towards the beginning of the following month.
Last week, McAleenan credited the Trump administration’s initiatives for the fall, especially the increase in interdictions by Mexico in the past three weeks and the return of some asylum seekers to Mexico during the duration of their proceedings. immigration.
On June 8, following a tariff deal by President Donald Trump, the United States and Mexico signed an agreement that included an agreement by Mexico to take “unprecedented measures” to increase enforcement and curb irregular migration.
Border Patrol officials in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley last week said Mexico’s efforts were affecting the numbers, but were skeptical that they would have a lasting impact, citing previous initiatives carried out by the Mexican government.
The figures come amid public outcry over reports that migrant children were held in poor health and hygiene conditions at various Border Patrol locations in Texas. On Monday, members of Congress toured facilities in the El Paso region as protesters and opponents clashed outside. Many of the members of the Democratic Congress expressed outrage at the conditions they witnessed.
Demographic change, from single adults in Mexico to families and children predominantly from the Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, as well as the large influx of migrants who arrived over the past year, has put the facilities of the Border Patrol and its resources along the border, caused low morale among agents.