The Associated Press acquired Border Patrol arrest statistics that suggest President Trump’s zero tolerance policy may have helped convince fewer migrants to cross the border illegally. The Border Patrol arrested 34,057 illegal aliens in June - 6,287 less than in May. The number is still more than double the 16,077 arrested in June 2017, when the Administration was relatively new and more migrants feared crossing illegally.

The Administration announced its zero tolerance policy in May and began to implement it in the following weeks. Since it often takes migrants a month or more to reach the U.S., the effects of the policy should begin to show up in June’s numbers. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan said, “I believe the focus on border enforcement has had an impact on the crossings.” 

The zero tolerance policy involves prosecuting adult migrants for illegal entry. If the adults crossed with children, they had to be confined separately because federal jails cannot accommodate families. This sparked public outcry and led President Trump to sign an executive order in June ending new family separations. Analysts will watch the July and August arrest numbers to see if the policy reversal spurs more illegal migration.

Read more in The Washington Times.

Updated: Tue, Jul 17th 2018 @ 5:45pm EDT