Trump Effect: Something Big is Happening at the Border for the First Time Since 1971

President Trump

Apprehensions of illegal immigrants at the U.S. border dropped 24 percent from fiscal 2016 to fiscal 2017 and represent the lowest level since 1971, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced Tuesday morning.

From Western Journal:


According to data released from the Department of Homeland Security, President Donald Trump has made a significant impact on border security, with border arrests at their lowest since 1971.

“The Border Patrol made 310,531 arrests during the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, a decline of 25 percent from 415,816 a year earlier, according to Customs and Border Protection (CBP),” reported The Daily Caller.

Moreover, within the country, statistics from Immigration and Customs Enforcement show agents carried out 143,470 arrests — an increase of 25 percent from the previous year.

The numbers themselves reflect the administration’s national security policies and a tightening of the country’s immigration enforcement efforts.

And, though it’s still unclear just how much Trump’s new enforcement priorities can be attributed to the administration, there is “anecdotal evidence,” The Daily Caller suggested, that such policies act as a deterrent for “potential border crossers.”


“A DHS report released earlier this year also indicates the Border Patrol has become much better at interdicting illicit border crossings and deterring repeat offenders,” the article states.

“Today, enhanced border security deters about 55 to 75 percent of would-be second-time offenders, versus 10 to 40 percent a decade or two ago.”

According to Politifact, Trump isn’t the only one who has claimed declining numbers, as many Democrats have also cited the same point.

“There are fewer people crossing that border than in the last 30 years,” said Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill. “We’ve already doubled the enforcement on the border.”

Even more recently, Democrat Rep. John Conyers admitted that apprehension rates have “plummeted and that numbers for Mexicans caught by Border Patrol had reached their lowest point in nearly half a century,” according to Politifact.

And though data shows that numbers are retreating and security at the border is gradually getting stronger, CBP press secretary Tyler Houlton said there is still work to be done.

Houlton suggested to the Washington Examiner that the current administration must work with Congress to focus its attention on the existing loopholes and legal limitations that prevent border patrol from fulfilling their duties and administering “full border security.”

However, Houlton gives credence to those who strive to make homeland security a priority as well as those that risk their lives on a daily basis to do so.

“The men and women of the Department of Homeland Security have worked diligently to carry out the president’s security-focused agenda,” Houlton stated.

“This is what enforcing the law as Congress adopted looks like.”


The first three months of President Trump’s administration saw a sharp decline in apprehensions and hit the lowest-ever recorded rate for a month in April. CBP credited the significant decline to Trump’s Jan. 25 executive order, which mandated all policies related to interior enforcement and border security be carried out to the full extent.