The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) revealed on Tuesday that that the number of undocumented immigrants caught trying to illegally cross the border from Mexico into the United States has fallen by 36 percent in the space of two months, reaching the lowest level in 12 months.
There were over 37,000 border crossers apprehended in December; however, by the following month this number had fallen to just 23,767. These figures indicate the overall number of attempts to illegally enter the United States, according to the Department of Homeland Security. The great majority of illegal border crossings into the United States come from Mexico, with DHS data showing that January has traditionally been the month when there was a spike in the number of people apprehended at the south-western border of the US.
Figures almost doubled – and sometimes almost trebled − between December and January in the years between 2000 and 2009; however, this trend started to decline in 2010, and since 2014 the number of apprehensions in January has been less than in the previous month. The data also demonstrates an enormous fall on an annual basis over the course of the last ten years, with the total falling from the high of 1.7m apprehensions back in 2005 to just 330,000 last year.
The numbers have been called “encouraging” by DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson; however, he nonetheless maintains his defense of the controversial arrests of 121 undocumented immigrants in raids last month, many of whom have already been deported.