Customs and Border Protection said Thursday that border apprehensions dropped in December for the seventh month in a row.
U.S. Border Patrol apprehended 32,858 individuals crossing at the Southwest Border between ports of entry during the month of December, CBP said in a statement released Thursday morning. That number is down from 33,511 in November and 35,405 in October.
Meanwhile, CBP determined that 7,762 individuals were deemed inadmissible after presenting themselves at legal ports of entry along the southern in December. That statistic is a decline from 9,140 in November and 9,779 in October.
CBP said in a post on Twitter that December’s enforcement statistics, which include both apprehensions and those deemed inadmissible, were a five percent decrease compared to November and more than 70 percent lower than the peak of 144,000 combined in May of 2019.
Last fiscal year, 50,751 individuals were apprehended and 10,043 were deemed inadmissible between ports of entry in December.
The Trump administration has repeatedly said there is an ongoing “crisis” at the southern border and sought to deter migrants, many of whom were Central American families, from making the journey.
CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan said last month that the number of Central American families coming to the U.S. border has decreased, with a recent increase of apprehensions of Mexican migrants and single adults surpassing families.
Since last year, the Trump administration has been sending some asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico while their asylum cases play out and recently began sending some asylum-seekers to Guatemala.
Critics of the Trump administration’s immigration policies have said such policies violate migrants’ rights and further endanger them by making them wait in dangerous border towns or in one of the most violent countries in the world lacking robust asylum systems.