Illegal border crossings drop dramatically during President Trump's first month in office

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U.S. Border Patrol apprehensions have dropped 40 percent since Donald Trump was sworn into office and issued a series of executive orders that have fueled the perceptions that migrants are unwelcome in the United States.

He was also asked to respond to Trump's explosive claim that former President Barack Obama ordered a wiretap of Trump Tower during the campaign.

The Border Patrol's job is to catch people trying to enter the USA without papers between official entry points.

Aguilar points out that the policy has not been made official, and that a number of rumors and unclear statements on a variety of topics have come from members of the administration, only to be walked back later.

Some 11 million undocumented immigrants live in the USA, many from Mexico. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly credited enforcement and Trump's tough talk. While such year-over-year declines also occurred throughout several months in 2015, the February decline was notable. "However, during this timeframe this year, "the flow of illegal border crossings as measured by apprehensions and the prevention of inadmissible persons at our southern border dropped by 40%", the agency said Wednesday".

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Mexico remained the leading native-nation for undocumented immigrants and visa overstays, the study reported.

"The early results show that enforcement matters, deterrence matters, and that comprehensive immigration enforcement can make an impact", Kelly continued, notes the New York Times.

"When my colleague Jay Root and I were down in Central America past year for a project, we would talk to folks that would say it took them anywhere from two weeks to six weeks, depending on where they needed to stop, where they needed to get money", he says.

Hipsman said other factors, including a seasonal lull during winter months, could have contributed to the decline.

The drop breaks a almost 20-year trend, as CBP data going back to 2000 shows an uptick in apprehensions every February.

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There was a similar decrease in apprehensions in 2014, she noted, after a surge in unaccompanied minors led to increased enforcement at the border, only to go up again later.

In February, a total of 18,762 migrants were caught as they crossed or attempted to cross the Southwest border, compared with 31,575 in January, 43,254 in December and 47,211 in November.

Kevin Appleby, senior director for worldwide migration policy at the faith-based Center for Migration Studies of NY, was more direct. Trump took office January 20.

It's extremely unlikely that Trump is the only reason for the drop.

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