Amidst all of the controversy over President Donald Trump's zero tolerance border enforcement comes word that it may already be having an impact. A new Associated Press report citing Customs and Border Protection (CBP) sources says arrests at the border dropped by 16-percent in June, to their lowest level since February. The decline ended a four-month streak of increases that included a surge in minors crossing the border. CBP declined to comment on the numbers since they have not been officially released yet.
Texas immigration attorney Eric Cedillo believes the figures are no coincidence. "Honestly, I think a big part of it has to be the zero tolerance policy by the (Trump) administration," he tells KTRH. "Lots of people are probably concerned about coming over."
In addition, border agents are tightening enforcement of those seeking asylum. "I think border patrol is certainly sending people away...they're trying to do it properly until they can get a good sense of what it is they need to allow in," says Cedillo.
There is no precise way to know exactly what the numbers mean, since border arrests are not an exact reflection of border crossings. Plus, there are other possible factors for the decline in arrests. "It's also a just a part of the ordinary migration patterns," says Cedillo. "It gets very hot in June and July, and that can be a very dangerous trek to make if you're coming from Central American countries through Mexico."