New statistics show that there are fewer people now being arrested for attempting to illegally cross the border into the US than at any time for almost half a century, as President Donald Trump continues his hard line on immigration.
US Border Patrol arrested just over 300,000 undocumented immigrants in the year ending in September 2017. This drop, from over 400,000 in 2016, equates to a fall of as much as 24%. The official statistics, released on Tuesday, show that the last time such few arrests were made on the US border was in 1971. The majority of this period follows the victory of Donald Trump in the November 2016 US Presidential election, after he pledged to cut illegal immigration in several ways, including building a wall on the border between the US and Mexico.
The US has also seen a recent increase in the number of deportation arrests of undocumented immigrants already living in the country, with almost 145,000 arrests made by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. This is a rise of 25% from the previous year.
The new figures offer the clearest look yet at the effectiveness of the immigration enforcement policy encouraged by President Donald Trump and suggest that the authorities are following through with his tougher rhetoric. Department of Homeland Security spokesman, Tyler Houlton, said that the figures show what enforcing immigration law looks like.