IMMIGRATION: Migrant encounters decline at border
Prior to President Trump's agreements with Mexico, and other executive actions taken, massive caravans were using trains to get to the U.S. from Central American countries
By Colleen Long and Darlene Superville | The Associated Press
WASHINGTON >> The number of migrants encountered at the southern U.S. border declined in September for the fourth straight month, Trump administration officials said Tuesday.
Border officials came across about 52,000 migrants at the border last month — down about 65% from the peak in May of about 144,000, Acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan said. That number includes both people who have crossed between borders illegally and people who sought admission into the U.S. at an official port of entry but were deemed inadmissible.
The news will likely be greeted with glee by President Donald Trump, who has used the monthly tally as a benchmark for whether his hardline immigration policies are working. Curbing immigration has been Trump’s signature issue, but the overall numbers rose dramatically under his watch.
The number of people encountered at the border during the 2019 budget year is likely to be nearly 1 million, one of the highest figures on record.
The volume of border crossers vastly strained resources and prompted an outcry over fetid conditions at border stations where families and children were held for days and weeks at a time in facilities meant to hold them at maximum for 72 hours.
The number of migrants crossing the border traditionally declines in hot summer months. Numbers tend to rebound when the weather gets cooler, though officials have insisted that the decline cannot be explained simply by seasonal factors.
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