The number of people arrested illegally crossing the U.S. border with Mexico and those who requested asylum at ports of entry dropped 28 percent in June, the first decline since January, reports the Wall Street Journal. The Department of Homeland Security said that 104,344 people were taken into custody last month. The department attributed the reduction to the Trump administration’s sending some asylum seekers back to Mexico to wait for U.S. court dates and to efforts by Mexico to slow the flow of migrants traveling across its border with Guatemala.
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan had anticipated a drop of roughly 25 percent. He said last month that the expected declines were insufficient, urging Congress to amend immigration law to stem the wave of migrant families coming to the U.S. to seek asylum. Border Patrol illegal border crossing arrests tend to fall in June as temperatures rise and the journey for migrants becomes more difficult. Last year’s monthly decline was 17 percent. The total number of people crossing the border illegally remains significantly higher than in recent years. “We are past the breaking point and in a full-blown emergency,” the Department of Homeland Security said. “This situation should not be acceptable to any of us.”