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The Trump Effect? Border Arrests Plummet

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on Wednesday that the “flow of illegal border crossings … dropped by 40 percent” in February, President Trump’s first full month in office.

U.S.-Mexico border

Is President Donald Trump’s tough talk on immigration leading to a major drop in illegal border crossings? A late Wednesday release from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) suggests so:

Today, U.S. Customs and Border Protection is releasing illegal border crossing data through the month of February and the numbers show an unprecedented decline in traffic. From January to February, the flow of illegal border crossings as measured by apprehensions and the prevention of inadmissible persons at our southern border dropped by 40 percent.

The drop in apprehensions shows a marked change in trends. Since the Administration’s implementation of Executive Orders to enforce immigration laws, apprehensions and inadmissible activity is trending toward the lowest monthly total in at least the last five years.

The CBP release, authored by DHS Secretary John Kelly, notes that border arrests increased 35 percent between Oct. 1, 2016 to Jan. 20, 2017, but declined from 31,578 in January to 18,762 in February.

Fox News says that it’s welcome news for Trump, who is in the midst of an illegal immigration crackdown:

Trump signed an executive order increasing border security and authorizing the construction of his promised border wall along the southern border in the first few days of his presidency. Trump also seeks to hire about 5,000 additional border patrol officials and 10,000 ICE agents and seeks to fast-track deportations.

March data, which will probably be released around a month from now, will be key to seeing if this drop is a sustained trend or a one-time episode.