Southwest Border Arrests Fall 7 Percent, Family Unit Arrests Steady

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While there was a 7-percent overall decrease in illegal U.S. Southwest border crossings from June to July, the migration of “family units” has remained virtually unchanged after Trump retracted his “zero-tolerance” family separation policy, declining by less than 1 percent, according to Customs and Border Protection.

In July, 9,258 family units were apprehended, compared to 9,434 family unit apprehensions in June and 9,485 in May, illustrating the less-than-1-percent decrease.

With families crossing the border at roughly the same rate, the Trump administration’s short-lived efforts to deter illegal immigration with its “zero-tolerance” family separation policy seem to have had little effect on family migration. At the same time, however, border crossings, in general, seem to have decreased a significant amount as a result of the old policy.

“Southwest Border Migration numbers dropped in July for the second month in a row. This decrease shows that when there are real consequences for breaking the law, the conduct of those considering crimes will change,” Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Press Secretary Tyler Q. Houlton said in a statement released Wednesday.

“At the same time, the number of family units apprehended at the border remains high and their percentage of total crossings has increased as court decisions prevent us from detaining and prosecuting family unit adults,” the statement said.

A total of 31,303 individuals were apprehended between ports of entry in July. That number is down from the 34,095 individuals who were apprehended in June and the 40,333 who were apprehended in May, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

CBP noted that comparing July 2018 to July 2017 the overall numbers are up nearly 57 percent, with the largest increase being family units, “which increased more than 142 percent year over year.”