Border Patrol arrests dropped significantly for the month of June to the lowest levels since February, ending a four-month rise.
The agency made 34,057 arrests on the U.S.-Mexico border in June, down from 40,344 in May, a U.S. official told The Associated Press.
The 16 percent decrease could potentially signal an effect of President Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy, in which he calls to criminalize every adult who illegally crosses the border.
The policy may be acting as a deterrent for those thinking of illegally crossing the border, especially with children.
“I believe the focus on border enforcement has had an impact on the crossing,” Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Kevin McAleenan told reporters last week.
Seasonal changes could also be the reason for the drop, as the summer’s hottest months begin. Arrests from May to June have fallen in four out of five of recent years, with 2017 being an exception, according to CBP statistics. (RELATED: Border Arrests Escalate As Trump Cracks Down On Illegal Immigration)
However, as the AP noted, the month to month drop is significant.
Since Trump took office in 2016, CBP made the fewest arrests in the last five years, falling from 563,204 in 2016 to 415,191 in 2017.
The June numbers are subject to fluctuate slightly as the numbers were not yet ready to be released.
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