President Trump has made border security a priority, boasting that arrests there are down. It is too soon to tell if the increase is a new trend or merely a seasonal change, says a Homeland Security official.
Arrests of people caught trying to cross the Mexican border into the U.S. illegally rose in July from a month earlier, the third straight monthly increase, the Wall Street Journal reports. Border Patrol agents arrested 18,198 people caught sneaking across the border in July, compared with 16,087 in June. President Trump has made priorities of border security, including building a wall along the border, and a crackdown on illegal immigration. He has repeatedly said that under his watch arrests at the border have plummeted. Immigration agents have stepped up efforts to arrest and deport immigrants living in the U.S. illegally.
During Trump’s first months in office, arrests at the border did drop—11,125 people were detained in April, which the administration said was a record low for one month. Despite the uptick, border arrests remain at historic lows, a trend that started during the Obama administration. Since October 2016, border arrests are down 36 percent compared with a year earlier. Arrests at the border, the best available gauge of how many people are trying to sneak into the U.S., typically increase in the spring and early summer only to level off in the late summer before dropping during the colder fall and winter months. David Lapan, a Department of Homeland Security spokesman, said it is too soon to tell if the increases in arrests are a signal that more people will try to cross the border illegally in the future or if this is a seasonal trend.