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.
The Department of Homeland Security agency reported 310,531 apprehensions and 216,370 inadmissible people caught at various parts of the Mexico and Canada borders, as well as the ports of entry from Oct. 1, 2016, through Sept. 30, 2017.
“We have clearly seen the successful results of the President’s commitment to supporting the frontline officers and agents of DHS as they enforce the law and secure our borders,” acting DHS Secretary Elaine Duke said in a statement. “We have an obligation to uphold the integrity of our immigration system, but we must do more to step up and close loopholes to protect the American worker, our economy, and our communities.”
In fiscal 2016, a total of 415,816 illegal immigrants were apprehended nationwide. That figure has ticked up from around 300,000 in 1970 to between an average of 1 and 1.5 million people apprehended each year from the mid-1980s through 2006, according to Border Patrol data.
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