The apprehension of migrants illegally crossing the border between ports of entry fell in January by more than 11 percent as an eight-month decline continues. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials believed in early January that the numbers would increase.

Border Patrol agents apprehended approximately 29,200 migrants who illegally crossed the border between ports of entry in January. This is down 11 percent from December 2019 when agents apprehended 32,858 migrants. From the peak in May 2019 when agents apprehended 132,856 migrants, the number of apprehensions fell by nearly 80 percent. The current apprehension rate runs at just under 950 per day. This compares to the daily apprehension rate of 4,286 per day in May 2019, according to CBP statistics.

The success of policies put in place by the Trump Administration last summer, Mexico and the Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras provided a regional solution to the problem of mass migration through Mexico to the U.S. border, the official stated. During a just-ended trip to these countries, Acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan met with a wide array of government and law enforcement leaders on topics relating to border security, human trafficking, asylum agreements, reducing illegal migration, and trade opportunities. Morgan said in a written statement:

The long-term economic prosperity of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras is vital to addressing the flow of illegal migration to the United States. We are actively engaged in these partnerships between nations and they are absolutely essential to strengthen our efforts in the U.S. to control our borders and uphold the rule of law. We must also continue to discourage migrants from these nations from risking the lives of their families by making the dangerous and potentially deadly journey north to the United States.

CBP says it is now applying a legal consequence to 95 percent of those who illegally cross the border — “all but ending the catch and release” policies of the past. Those consequences include removal to Mexico and Guatemala under the Migrant Protection Program, prosecution for illegal entry into the U.S., increased prosecution for those who re-enter after being removed, the return of Mexican migrants deep into the Mexican interior instead of just across the border, and other consequences.

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Updated: Wed, Feb 26th 2020 @ 4:55pm EST