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Why Did Border Patrol Arrest Fewer People in June?

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Immigrants wait to be transported to a U.S. Border Patrol processing center after they were taken into custody on July 2nd, 2019, in McAllen, Texas. The immigrants, mostly families from Central America, turned themselves in to border agents after rafting across the Rio Grande from Mexico to seek political asylum in the United States.

The number of people United States authorities arrested crossing the country’s southern border dropped by almost 40,000 last month, from more than 144,000 arrests in May to fewer than 105,000 arrests in June. The drop came after President Donald Trump used the threat of tariffs to pressure the Mexican government to stop migrants traveling northwards through its country. But experts were quick to note that the blistering summer months in Mexico have, in most past years, correlated with a seasonal drop in arrivals.

While the summer heat and Mexican enforcement both certainly played a role in the drop in arrests, the trouble determining to what degree each factor explains the decrease illuminates the greater difficulties experts have in interpreting migration patterns.

In the Trump era, Customs and Border Protection’s monthly release of its enforcement data has become a major press event. The administration has used it as an opportunity to portray a “crisis” on the border; this month, the administration used the 28 percent drop in apprehensions to indicate success in its efforts to pressure Mexican authorities to apprehend more migrants. But experts say there’s a problem with trying to understand migration patterns using monthly statistics: With so many variables at play, looking at short-term data can lead to overly simplistic conclusions.

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Thanks !

Thanks for sharing this, you are awesome !