The arrests of illegal immigrants crossing the southwest border by Border Patrol agents decreased again in April. This is the fifth straight month of decline. The total apprehensions of illegal border crossers hit a 17-year low.
The April report, released this week, reveals that apprehensions dropped from the previous month by five percent. The number of apprehensions has dropped each month since President Donald Trump took office. In January, 42,473 illegal immigrants were apprehended after crossing the border. By April, that number had dropped to 15,780, a drop of 26,693.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) spokesman David Lapan told NumbersUSA, “A lot of the discussion about changes in our enforcement policy and the way we are going about doing business, we believe that has deterred people. When you get here, it is likely you are going to get caught. You are going to be returned to your country.”
The discussions also appear to be deterring Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) and Family Unit Aliens (FMUA) from risking their lives to travel to the U.S. illegally. The arrest of UACs dropped from the January mark of 4,441 to April’s 998. April’s numbers were down from March by 45.
The arrest of FMUAs illegally crossing the border dropped from 9,300 in January to 1,119 in April. FMUA apprehensions in March were at 1,126.
The Rio Grande Valley Sector (RGV) in south Texas remains the hotspot for border apprehensions. Of the 29,608 UACs arrested in FY 2017, 18,313 were arrested in the RGV Sector. The next closest sector is El Paso, which accounted for 2,765 of the UAC arrests.
The same is true of FMUA apprehensions. FY2017 arrests totaled 59,510. Nearly 40,000 of those entered the U.S. in the RGV sector. The next closest sector, El Paso, reported 7,235 FMUAs apprehended in the first seven months of this fiscal year.
The largest number of UACs entering the U.S. illegally came from Guatemala (9,989). El Salvador sent 7.804 minors to the U.S. Border while Honduras and Mexico followed with 6,305 and 5,306 respectively. The largest number of FMUAs apprehended came from El Salvador (20967). Guatemala and Honduras followed closely with 17,555 and 17,542 respectively. Mexico trailed with only 1,603.
CBP officials define FMUA as “the number of individuals (either a child under 18 years old, parent or legal guardian) apprehended with a family member by the U.S. Border Patrol.)”
Center for Immigration Studies Director of Policy Studies Jessica Vaughan told NumbersUSA “The continued drop suggests this is more than just a fluke.”