Today, Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) reported apprehending or deeming inadmissible more than 82,000 illegal immigrants during the month of July, marking the first time since February that apprehensions have dropped below 100,000 at the southwest border.
However, the total apprehensions from last month are equivalent to the population of Longview.
While these statistics indicate a reduction from approximately 104,000 to 82,000 between June and July this year, the total number of individuals apprehended or deemed inadmissible in July 2018 when compared to July 2019 has still more than doubled.
While it is common for border apprehension statistics to be smaller by comparison in summer months, the release of these statistics comes as the crisis at the border continues and immigrants continue to arrive at the U.S.-Mexico border in unprecedented numbers.
Since the beginning of the fiscal year in October 2018 through July 2019, CBP has reported apprehending or deeming inadmissible a total of 862,785 individuals at the southern border.
By comparison, just over 521,000 individuals were apprehended or deemed inadmissible for the entirety of fiscal year 2018.
The Trump administration recently issued new immigration policies with the intent of reducing asylum-seeking at the U.S.-Mexico border, thereby hoping to alleviate strains placed on the overwhelmed immigration system.
Additionally, these statistics come just weeks after the U.S. signed a “safe-third country” agreement with Guatemala with the hopes of further reducing strains on the system.
Under the terms of this agreement, individuals who first travel through Guatemala while en route to the U.S. must first seek-asylum in Guatemala, as opposed to the United States.
In a statement last week, Mexican Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard announced similar statistics, when he reported a 39 percent decline in the number of immigrants traveling through Mexico to reach the U.S. from May to July, citing the drop as a “considerable reduction.”
The release of these apprehension statistics comes just one day after Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents reported arresting nearly 700 illegal immigrants at seven poultry processing facilities in Mississippi in “what is believed to be the largest single-state immigration enforcement operation in our nation’s history,” U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi Mike Hurst said of the operation.
Earlier this week, CBP also announced the opening of two new Texas detention facilities in Donna and Tornilla with plans for continued expansions in Yuma, Arizona as the crisis at the border continues.
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Sarah McConnell is a reporter for The Texan. Previously, she worked as a Cyber Security Consultant after serving as a Pathways Intern at the Department of Homeland Security – Citizenship and Immigration Services. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Texas A&M as well as her Master of Public Service and Administration degree from the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M. In her free time, Sarah is an avid runner, jazz enthusiast, and lover of all things culinary.