News & Politics

Number of Immigrants Denied Entry at the Southwestern Border Declines

Immigrants from Central America reach the border in Tijuana, Mexico, to seek asylum in the United States on April 29, 2018. (Kyodo via AP)

Since the implementation of President Trump’s zero-tolerance policy, the number of people apprehended and denied admission at the southwest border declined by 18 percent in June compared to the previous month.

In June, 8,451 immigrants who came to the border at ports of entry were found to be inadmissible compared to 11,567 in May, the Department for Homeland Security (DHS) reported. For the entire year of 2017, a total of 111,275 people were not admitted at the border, a decline from 150,825 in 2016 and still less than 114,486 in 2015.

Included in the inadmissible metrics are people seeking asylum and individuals who withdraw an application for admission and return to their home countries not long after they arrive at the border.

While the overall numbers decreased, the number of families and unaccompanied children deemed inadmissible increased. Families that were denied entry grew by 61 percent compared to last year: 89 percent in El Paso, 135 percent in San Diego, and 59 percent in Tucson. Most of the family units, by a large number, came from Mexico.

The number of unaccompanied children who were found inadmissible after making the dangerous trek rose by 16 percent, with Tucson and San Diego seeing the largest increases from 2017 (46 percent and 33 percent respectively). Most of the unaccompanied children came from Guatemala.

This is a particularly dangerous time to make the border crossing due to the heat. Border Patrol agents rescued 896 people in May and June.

“DHS will continue to enforce the rule of law and uphold our nation’s immigration laws as passed by Congress,” the department stated. “As we have said before, the journey north is dangerous and puts individuals in the hands of smugglers and traffickers. We continue to call on Congress to address the crisis at the border by closing legal loopholes that drive illegal immigration.”

Meanwhile, drug seizures and arrests of gang members continue. On July 5, border agents arrested a Mexican national at Arizona’s Port of San Luis as he tried to smuggle 40 pounds of meth into the United States.

During the Fourth of July, border patrol arrested three gang members. One man from El Salvador is a member of the 18th Street gang and has three active warrants from his home country for “aggravated homicide and terrorist organization.” The other two men are MS-13 gang members.