WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. immigration officials apprehended fewer migrants along the U.S.-Mexico border in July than they did in June, a steady decline since the May high, according to data released Thursday by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.
There were nearly 72,000 arrests made in July along the southern border, down about 24% from 94,908 made in June, according to the data. The dip in arrests is in line with the 28% drop in apprehensions in June from May -- the highest month in more than a decade. But the new figure is significantly higher from where it stood last July.
The newly released data also indicates that there there was a 43% drop in total apprehensions and encounters along the border from May to July.
The numbers come two months after Mexico, in the wake of a tariff threat from President Donald Trump, signed a deal with the U.S., which included an agreement by Mexico to take "unprecedented steps" to increase enforcement and curb irregular migration. Although a dip in border crossings is common during the hot summer months, a senior Border Patrol official told CNN on Thursday that "we will have to wait till end of August to see whether trend holds."
The official said a combination of factors contributed to the reduction, including Mexico's enforcement efforts and the continued rollout of the Migration Protection Protocols, whereby migrants are returned to Mexico to await their immigration proceedings.
"All of these things together (are) helping" the official said.
According to the data, the number of unaccompanied children and families apprehended at the southern border decreased between June and July by about 24% and 25%, respectively, a dip that a CBP spokesperson attributed to a recent increase in agents at the border.
"During the past several months US Customs and Border Protection had reassigned 731 officers from ports of entry nationwide to support US Border Patrol sectors along the southwest border where apprehensions of family units and unaccompanied children from Central America had overwhelmed Border Patrol capabilities and facilities," the CBP official said on Thursday.
"The total number of CBP officers allocated was dictated by the operational need required by U.S. Border Patrol to help relieve the strain," they added.