The number of people arrested while trying to cross the southwest border dropped 40 percent from January to February, a dramatic shift that Homeland Security chief John Kelly attributed to President Donald Trump’s strict immigration policies. In a report released Wednesday evening, Kelly said U.S. Customs and Border Protection typically sees a 10-20 percent increase in arrests of people crossing illegally between January and February, which makes the decrease more notable.
The idea that fewer arrests means better enforcement might seem a little odd, but DHS has used “apprehensions” as a measure of border security in the past. If you’re catching fewer people, they must be afraid to cross, the not-exactly-scientific thinking goes. Kelly said the news is encouraging “because it means many fewer people are putting themselves and their families at risk of exploitation, assault and injury by human traffickers and the physical dangers of the treacherous journey north.” See the numbers here