April 5 (UPI) — U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly credited President Donald Trump’s executive orders for a decline in undocumented immigrants at the Mexican border.
Speaking on Wednesday before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security, Kelly said there were less than 17,000 border apprehensions in March, the lowest since 2000.
“March marks the fifth-straight month of decline and is estimated to be approximately 71 percent lower than the December 2016 total [of] 58,478… U.S. Border Patrol apprehensions for the last two months have decreased dramatically. Typically this is the time of year that the agency observes marked increases.”
He attributed the decline to “the continued and successful efforts of our men and women at the border, as well as the support of our leadership in the White House,” and cited Trump’s executive orders to reinforce U.S. protections against terrorism and entry of undocumented individuals.
Kelly specified that two-thirds of a Department of Homeland Security special request for funding in the 2017 fiscal year, or about $1 billion, will be dedicated to “initial wall investment” in preparing a physical divider at the U.S.-Mexican border. The remainder of the funding will go to technology, infrastructure and roads at the border. Another $2.6 billion for planning and building a wall has been requested in the 2018 budget, he said.