The new figures, published Tuesday, offer the most comprehensive snapshot to date of the changes made to immigration enforcement under President Donald Trump, who has taken a hardline stance on the issue of illegal immigration into the United States.
The statistics show that US Border Patrol made a total of 310,531 arrests in the period between September 2016 and September 2017, dropping from 415,816, or about 25%, from a year earlier. The figures showed that 98% of the arrests took place on the US-Mexico border, with about 58% of those arrested coming from countries other than Mexico, mostly in Latin America.
Tough Giving Credit@washingtonpost— Charles V Payne (@cvpayne) 5 декабря 2017 г.
Number people caught trying to sneak over the border from Mexico has fallen to the lowest level in 46 years…sharp drop in arrests immediately following President Trump’s election win, possibly reflecting the deterrent effect of his rhetoric
Department of Homeland Security press secretary Tyler Houlton told the Washington Examiner that the figures show "what enforcing the law as Congress adopted looks like." Houlton emphasized that lawmakers must "legislatively address existing legal limitations and loopholes" which prevent Border Patrol and ICE from doing their job.
Observers aren't sure exactly what to make of the new figures. The president's supporters say it is proof of the success of his tough rhetoric, while detractors argue that it is a sign that Trump's rhetoric hasn't translated to an actual growth in arrests and deportations by US law enforcement.