Wall Street Journal
By Laura Meckler
March 8, 2017
WASHINGTON—Apprehensions of people trying to cross the southwest border dropped in February to the lowest monthly total in at least five years, the Department of Homeland Security said Wednesday, attributing the decline to President Donald Trump’s tougher immigration enforcement policies.
Many of these policies have yet to be implemented, but Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly suggested they already are having a deterrent effect on would-be illegal migrants.
“The early results show that enforcement matters, deterrence matters, and that comprehensive immigration enforcement can make an impact,” Mr. Kelly said in a statement.
The DHS data show 23,589 people were apprehended on the southwest border in February, down from 42,504 in January. In recent years, the number of apprehensions has ticked up between January and February. Still, numbers fluctuate each month, and it will take more data to know if the lower numbers represent a real trend.
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In October, the total number of apprehensions reached nearly 67,000 people, matching numbers from the summer of 2014, when a flood of Central American children and families arrived, fleeing violence and poverty in their home countries. The total has been falling each month since then, but the steepest drop came last month.
“This trend is encouraging because it means many fewer people are putting themselves and their families at risk of exploitation, assault and injury by human traffickers and the physical dangers of the treacherous journey north,” Mr. Kelly said.
The agency also said it has seen an increase in the fees human smugglers are charging in some areas.
The Obama administration also tried to discourage Central Americans from making the dangerous journey north, though its policies weren’t as punitive as those ordered by the current administration.
For more information, go to: www.beverlyhillsimmigration.com