Immigration arrests at Mexican border continue to plummet

Tim Foley, Chitose Nakagawa, Marcie Mieko Kagawa
FILE - In this May 11, 2016, file photo, Tim Foley shows how to climb a section of the border wall separating Mexico and the United States near where it ends as journalists Chitose Nakagawa, right, and Marcie Mieko Kagawa look on in Sasabe, Ariz. Foley, a former construction foreman, founded Arizona Border Recon, a group of armed volunteers who dedicate themselves to border surveillance. With bids due Tuesday, April 4, 2017, on the first border wall design contracts, companies are preparing for the worst if they get the potentially lucrative but controversial job. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The head of Homeland Security says arrests of people entering the United States illegally across the Mexican border plummeted last month. That’s a signal that fewer people are trying to sneak into the U.S.

John Kelly says in written testimony submitted to a Senate panel that fewer than 12,500 people were caught crossing the border last month. That compares with more than 43,000 who were detained in February. It’s the lowest monthly figure in at least 17 years.

Kelly says the decrease is “no accident” and credits President Donald Trump’s approach to illegal immigration. The Trump administration has not yet changed how the border is patrolled, but the president’s tough talk on immigration and arrests of immigrants living in the country illegally have likely acted as deterrents.

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