As Mexico increases its efforts to crack down on human smuggling, Border Patrol and other law enforcement officials report a continuing decrease in the number of apprehensions in July.
In the nation’s busiest migrant crossing sector, the Rio Grande Valley, officials are seeing a continuation of the apprehension drop-off reported in June. Hidalgo County Chief Deputy Constable Rene Gonzalez credits the presence of Mexican National Guard troops on the southern side of the border, the Los Angeles Times’ Molly Hennessy-Fiske reports. Mexico began deploying its recently constituted National Guard along its northern border in June after a threat of tariffs led to an agreement to increase enforcement against human smuggling.
Gonzalez told the LA Times, “It’s been a huge dip.”
Officials report the slowdown is due, at least in part, to smugglers and migrants laying low in northern Mexico as they wait to see if the enforcement actions will last.
Elsewhere on the border, Yuma Sector officials who previously reported a massive increase in “large group” migrant apprehensions are also reporting a substantial drop.
“We were experiencing around 450 apprehensions per day just a couple months ago,” a Yuma Sector Border Patrol spokesman told Breitbart News on Monday. “Now, that number has dropped to less than 100 per day.”
While the spokesman would not address specific reasons for the decline in apprehensions, he said that generally, the increased enforcement actions by Mexico is likely the primary reason.
Border Patrol Agent Brandon Judd, in his capacity as head of the National Border Patrol Council, told the LA Times they expect the number of migrant apprehensions in July to drop to about 76,000 to 79,000. This is down about 17 percent from June. Judd also credited the Trump Administration’s “Remain in Mexico” program while they await asylum processing.
As a result of decreases, particularly of migrant families and unaccompanied minors, Border Patrol agents are beginning to return to their border security mission.
“We are re-opening inland checkpoints again,” the Yuma Sector Border Patrol official told Breitbart News. “With that, we are starting to see an increase in the arrests of criminal aliens who are attempting to evade apprehension. We are also seeing increases in migrants from countries other than Central America.” The spokesman said the apprehensions of Cuban, Indian, and African migrants are increasing dramatically.