The number of arrests made at the U.S.-Mexico border hit its lowest level since 1971, new Homeland Security figures show.
During the government’s 2017 fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30, U.S., border agents made 310,531 arrests, down 24% from the previous year.
Illegal migration was at its lowest level immediately following President Trump’s election win, perhaps because President Trump’s rhetoric on immigration deterred would-be border crossers.
“We have clearly seen the successful results of the President’s commitment to supporting the frontline officers and agents of DHS as they enforce the law and secure our borders,” acting DHS Secretary Elaine Duke said in a statement.
Arrests picked back up in May though, according to the report.
Arrests of foreigners living illegally in the United States were up under President Trump — Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers made 110,568 arrests between Trump’s inauguration and the end of the fiscal year, marking a 42% increase over the same period a year earlier, the figures show.
President Trump vowed to crack down on illegal immigration, promising to arrest millions of foreigners with criminal records.
(MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
DHS spokesperson Tyler Houlton said the numbers reflect the president’s “security-focused agenda.”
“This is what enforcing the law as Congress adopted looks like,” he said.
Since his election, President Trump has vowed to crack down on illegal immigration, and promised to deport or incarcerate “probably two million” foreigners with criminal records.
But officers expelled about 6% fewer people from the United States during the government’s 2017 fiscal year, partly because the drop in illegal border crossings left the agency with fewer cases of people to deport.
The report also notes that border patrol agents arrested 20,131 criminal aliens, and another 10,908 individuals who were wanted by law enforcement authorities.
Border patrol agents arrested 536 gang-affiliated illegal aliens, including members of MS-13, Surenos, Paisas, and 18th Street gang members.