Illegal immigration at the southwest border dropped again in December, Homeland Security announced Thursday, continuing a seven-month decline that signals last spring’s border crisis has largely been solved.
The number of illegal immigrant families nabbed by the Border Patrol has totaled fewer than 27,000 over the first three months of the fiscal year. By contrast in May alone, nearly 84,500 “family units” — people traveling as part of a parent-child group — were nabbed.
“This seven-month decline is a direct result of President Trump’s network of policy initiatives and our ability to effectively enforce the law, enhance our border security posture and properly care for those in custody,” said Mark Morgan, acting commissioner of Customs and Border Protection.
December showed steady improvement compared to November, with 32,858 total people nabbed by the Border Patrol and another 7,762 found trying to enter without permission through border crossings. Those numbers were down from 33,510 and 9,139, respectively, the month before.
Drug seizures, though, are up with fentanyl surging 80% over December 2018 and heroin up 27%.
“The volume of drugs seized is a sober reminder that we are in the midst of a national security crisis on the Southwest border,” said CBP Deputy Commissioner Robert Perez.
Seizures of drugs and apprehensions of people are both considered good yardsticks for the overall flow. The more people or drugs that are caught, the more that is suspected to be getting through.