Following its usual pattern, activity along the southwest border was a little slower in January than it was in December, according to numbers released by Customs and Border Patrol (CPB) on Feb. 27.
CBP apprehended 31,575 people who illegally crossed the southwest border in January—a 27 percent drop compared to December (43,254).
Apprehensions are an indicator of total attempts to cross the border illegally, according to CPB.
The agency also saw a 28 percent decrease in individuals deemed inadmissible to enter the United States at the ports of entry along the same border. In January, 10,899 people were deemed inadmissible, compared to 15,177 in December and 16,153 in November.
But, overall total migration remained at “elevated levels,” CPB reported, “primarily due to family units and unaccompanied children from Central America, Haitian nationals migrating from Brazil, and Cuban nationals.”
In fiscal 2016, border patrol apprehended a total of 408,870 individuals along the southwest border, which accounts for 98 percent of the total number of people sneaking across borders nationwide.
The fiscal 2016 number is lower than 2015, but still only a fraction of the number of apprehensions routinely observed from the 1980s through 2008. Nationwide, Border Patrol apprehensions averaged over 1.1 million per year during that time period, CPB reported.
President Donald Trump has asked CPB to hire 5,000 more border patrol agents, and plans to build a wall along the southern border.