WASHINGTON - U.S. officials reported a sixth consecutive month of decreased apprehensions at the country's border with Mexico, bringing November more in line with the historical average, after a significant increase that started about a year ago.
The drop from 51,857 people apprehended In November 2018, to 33,510 last month, is a "direct result due to this president's strategies," Acting U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commission Mark Morgan told reporters during a news conference in Washington, D.C., on Monday to announce the latest data.
CBP data shows that the most significant increases and decreases in people caught crossing the border without authorization in recent years occurred after President Donald Trump took office in January 2017.
For example, the number of apprehensions and inadmissibles - generally, people who attempt to come into the United States through ports of entry but are denied entry - swung from a five year low of 415,517 in Fiscal Year 2017, to 977,509 in Fiscal Year 2019, according to CBP data.
One of the leading drivers of a sharp increase during the last year was the arrival of families - in some cases, three generations - crossing the border together.
In 2018, CBP apprehended 25,164 people traveling in family units.
Last month, that was down to 9,000 - a number not seen since July 2018.
The volatile numbers at the border run parallel to a variety of controversial legal and enforcement tactics under the Trump administration, including the creation of the "Migrant Protection Protocols" this year, under which migrants stopped by CBP are almost immediately taken to Mexico to await their immigration court hearings there.
After reaching a peak of roughly 144,000 cases in May of this year, the Trump administration also entered agreements with several Central American countries to require asylum-seekers to request asylum in the Northern Triangle, rather than in the U.S.