During President Donald Trump's first year in office, illegal immigrant apprehensions at the U.S.-Mexico border have dropped by 24%.
A new report from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) suggest that Trump's hardline immigration policies and rhetoric may be having a real impact:
In FY17, CBP recorded the lowest level of illegal cross-border migration on record1 , as measured by apprehensions along the border and inadmissible encounters at U.S. ports of entry. CBP recorded 310,531 apprehensions by U.S. Border Patrol agents and 216,370 inadmissible cases by CBP officers in FY17, a 23.7 percent decline over the previous year.
Illegal migration along the Southwest border declined sharply from Jan. 21 through April, which was the month with the lowest border enforcement activity on record. This reflects the Administration’s commitment to enforce the rule of law as directed in the President’s executive order: Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements, issued Jan. 25.
Indeed, during President Obama's two terms, illegal immigration continued to plague the southern border. During the summer of 2014, hundreds of thousands of unaccompanied minors entered the U.S. illegally; many were relocated in the continental U.S. and got to remain in the country, even though they didn't follow immigration law.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, then-candidate Trump surged in popularity when he made illegal immigration one of his top priorities and gained even more popularity from his supporters when he proposed putting a wall along the border.
Although Congress has thus far refused to issue funding for the wall, Trump continues to promise that it will be built eventually.
But for now, it seems that the president's hard-line rhetoric -- along with the hiring of more border patrol agents in hot-spots where illegal crossings are rampant -- is having a real impact.