In the month of July, the number of families detained at the U.S.-Mexico border has remained relatively the same, even after the Trump administration enacted zero tolerance policies that resulted in the separation of children from their parents.
According to reports for July, around 9,300 family members were arrested at the border. These figures reveal that in past 4 months, family arrests have largely gone unchanged. Data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection shows that border patrol agents arrested 9,449 family members in June; 9,485 in May; and 9,652 in April.
Based on the figures that have been reported since April, it appears that the Trump administration’s zero tolerance policy to prosecute migrant parents illegally crossing the border has failed to be the deterrent it’s been propped up to be by administration officials.
However, some experts suggest that broad conclusions should be tempered until more monthly data becomes available. Theresa Cardinal Brown, the director of immigration and cross-border policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center, said, “It takes a while for us to really know the impact of changes and policies at the border.”
Brown acknowledged that families who are trying to flee from violence and poverty might not want to change their plans and also might not be aware about new policies regarding U.S. border enforcement. “A lot of them are informed, frankly, by what the smugglers tell them,” said Brown.
It has been reported that the approximate number of people arrested at the border in July was 31,000. This number stays on track with the averages for the month of July that have been reported over the past decade. Despite this, the number of arrest this year have exceeded those made during the president’s first year in office.
In July, the number of unaccompanied children detained at the border dropped when compared to the numbers reported for June. Border Patrol picked up close to 4,000 children in July, which was a 22% decrease from June.
After receiving backlash from the public for enacting polices that’s separated children from their parents, President Trump signed an executive order at the end of June that ended zero-tolerance for such families. A few days later, a federal judge handed down a court order that forced the administration to reunite parents and children who were separated under the controversial policy.
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