DHS Officials Tout Successes Ahead Of Trump’s Visit To Arizona Border Town

Charles Reed/U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement via REUTERS

Alex Pfeiffer White House Correspondent
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Homeland Security officials are touting Yuma, the Arizona border town that President Donald Trump will visit Tuesday, as an example of how a border wall can help prevent illegal immigration.

A DHS official pointed to an 82 percent reduction in illegal crossings in the Yuma area since 2007 as the sector received 63 miles of border fencing after the passage of the Secure Fence Act of 2006. An official said that better border infrastructure can “guarantee” fewer border crossings for a “generation.”

Construction of new border walling is expected to start in spring 2018. During his visit to Yuma Tuesday, Trump will look at Border Patrol technology, including a predator drone.

Trump signed several executive orders since getting into office to ramp up prosecution of immigration crimes, and DHS officials touted statistics showing increased arrests and fewer border crossings.

An official said that 126,472 individuals have been apprehended attempting to enter the country illegally between January and the end of July, which is a 46 percent decrease from 2016. The official added that apprehensions of unaccompanied illegal immigrant minors has fallen 54 percent to 14,282.

Meanwhile, interior enforcement has increased with more than 91,000 arrests from ICE between January and August, an increase of more than 43 percent since 2016. Deportations are down compared to last year under President Obama, and The Daily Caller previously reported that this is likely due to a heavy backlog in the immigration court system.

A DHS official said Tuesday that the majority of removals in the past were due to interdictions on the border. “As those numbers decline, then the removals related to those apprehensions decline as well,” the official said.

However, the official continued on to say that there has been a 32 percent increase in removals stemming from interior enforcement.