Illegal immigration at Mexican border drops by more than half during past year

Border Wall by Frederick Dennstedt is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Federal law enforcement blocked fewer than 458,000 immigrants from illegally entering the United States from Mexico over the past fiscal year, less than half the 1 million people who attempted to cross the border illegally last year, the Trump administration announced Wednesday afternoon.

"We saw our overall encounters along the southwestern border drop from almost 1 million last fiscal year to less than 458,000 this fiscal year," Mark Morgan, the senior official performing the duties of U.S. Customs and Border Protection commissioner, said in a press conference Wednesday on the fiscal year 2020 numbers. "That’s a 53% reduction."

CBP tracks people arrested for illegally entering the country between border crossings and people turned away at border crossings. Those figures combined made up less than 485,000 people. Encounters at the border with law enforcement reflect the total number of people trying to enter illegally, including those not caught.

Families from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras were the driving force behind the humanitarian crisis at the border in 2019. The number of family members arrested at the southern border dropped from 530,000 in fiscal year 2019 to less than 80,000 this fiscal year, which started on Oct. 1, 2019, and ended on Sept. 30, 2020.

Border Wall by Frederick Dennstedt is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0