New government data indicates that apprehensions made by Border Patrol have continued to decline, with the number dropping by nearly 1000 since March 2017. However, it might be incorrect to attribute this downward trend solely to President Trump and his heightening of immigration enforcement.
There may be several reasons for the decline in apprehensions at the U.S.-Mexican border. Mexico has improving economic prospects, with unemployment currently down to 4 percent, as well as a slow growth in the United States of less-skilled jobs most commonly filled by undocumented immigrants. In fact, more Mexicans returned to Mexico than entered the United States since 2009.
There are other reasons why fewer apprehensions are taking place. According to the American Immigration Council, Border Patrol is unlawfully turning away asylum-seekers when they encounter them along the border, denying refuge to those seeking it. Cartels may also be charging more money to help people cross the border, meaning fewer people are able to cross.
A 2015 report from the Bipartisan Policy Center points out, there is currently no way to accurately measure the effectiveness of border enforcement measures. The number of apprehensions is only assumed to an accurate measure, but it doesn’t give any indication as to how many undocumented immigrants arrive. Thus, the lack of data makes it difficult to understand why this decline is happening, and how steep of a decline it is.