According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), enforcement actions along the southwest border in December, including apprehensions and inadmissible entries for illegal immigrants, totaled more than 40,600, representing a decrease of 5 percent compared to November’s enforcement statistics.
Last month’s decline marks the seventh month in a row apprehensions and inadmissible entries decreased at the U.S.-Mexico border since reaching a peak of more than 144,000 enforcement actions in May.
Last month, acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan attributed the decline to the Trump administration’s border security initiatives aimed at addressing what he described as a “historic flood of Central American families illegally crossing the border.”
Fiscal Year 2019 saw a notable increase in the number of family units with CBP reporting more than 457,000 apprehensions compared to approximately 107,000 in Fiscal Year 2018, the majority of whom arrived from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador in Central America.
In previous statements to the press, Commissioner Morgan has credited the governments of these countries as well as Mexico with helping to stem the flow of family units and other migrants at the U.S. border through increased coordination, including the signing of asylum cooperation agreements with the United States.
Marking a continuing decline compared to November, December’s border statistics indicate that enforcement actions involving family units have declined more than 85 percent since the height of enforcement actions in May.
The Trump administration has also touted the end of “catch and release” as a driving factor behind the overall seven-month decline in apprehensions and inadmissible entries at the southwestern border.
“Under this Administration, CBP is ensuring that the era of Catch and Release is over. We are more resolved than ever to bring an end to the crisis,” Morgan said in December.
December also saw an overall decrease in drug interceptions at nationwide checkpoints compared to November’s 32 percent increase.
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.