U.S. Reports Sharp Drop In Migrant Children At Southwest Border

ASSOCIATED PRESS

New figures released by the Obama administration on Wednesday reveal a sharp drop in unaccompanied children at the southwest border over the last month.

In April 7,702 children were apprehended. In May that rose to 10,579. In June it rose slightly to 10,628. In July it fell to 5,508 — by nearly half.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said the apprehensions in the first few days of August reflect the July trend.

“We have surged resources and put in place an aggressive campaign to counter the rise of illegal migration into the Rio Grande Valley. We have dramatically reduced the removal time for many unaccompanied adults from about 33 to four days,” he said in a statement. He added: “While the decrease in apprehensions in July is good news and reflects a positive trend that we hope continues, the current numbers are still higher than the number of apprehensions for children and adults with children during past years. We continue to have much work to do to address this issue and our message continues to be clear—‘our border is not open to illegal migration.”

Johnson said he’s “disappointed” Congress left town for the August recess without passing President Barack Obama’s border supplemental request and called on lawmakers to do so when the return. “In the meantime, to avoid running out of money, I have been left with no choice but to reprogram money away from other homeland security missions,” he said.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.
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