Border apprehensions along the Southwest border dropped for a second straight month, according to new statistics released by the Department of Homeland Security. According to the report, 31,303 illegal border crossers were apprehended last month compared to 34,095 in June. Apprehensions are down more than 22% from this year's high of 40,333 in May.
Apprehensions of family units and unaccompanied alien children (UACs) were also down in July compared to June, indicating that Attorney General Jeff Sessions' zero-tolerance policy is having an effect.
"This decrease shows that when there are real consequences for breaking the law, the conduct of those considering crimes will change," DHS Press Secretary Tyler Houlton said in a statement. "In the month of July, we saw a decrease in illegal border crossings because human traffickers and Transnational Criminal Organizations were put on notice that this Administration was increasing prosecutions of those entering the country illegally."
Despite the overall drop in apprehensions of family units and UACs, their share of overall apprehensions increased. Houlton blamed the lack of action from Congress to change the way family units and UACs who are apprehended crossing the border illegally must be treated.
"[T]he 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 inability to apply consequences to any law breaker ultimately threatens the safety and security of the nation and its communities," Houlton said.
Still, the small drop in the number of family units and UACs apprehended in July is significant. It marks the first time in four years that apprehensions of both groups dropped in the month of July compared to the month of June. In fiscal years 2015-2017, the apprehensions of family units and UACs increased in July by 19% and 11%, respectively, on average.
To see the full report, visit CBP.gov.
Updated: Thu, Aug 23rd 2018 @ 9:00am EDT