U.S. Mexican Border Wall
U.S. Mexican Border Wall. Apprehensions again dropped in April Creative Commons

Arrests at the U.S. southern border continued to decrease in April, as the Biden administration steps up its efforts to stem the flow of migrants reaching the country during the electoral year.

Authorities said that apprehensions dropped 6% compared to March, a figure that becomes more significant when considering it also bucks the trend of seasonal increases seen during the spring.

Concretely, there were fewer than 129,000 arrests in April, compared to 137,480 in March. It's also almost half of the almost 250,000 recorded in December, according to U.S. Customs and Border protection.

Figures are still historically high, but the decreasing trend could give the Biden administration some political air, as immigration enforcement has become a political liability for the president.

Troy Miller, Customs and Border Protection's acting commissioner, said more enforcement, including deportations, contributed to the figure.

A recent report by Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) shows that the pace of deportations from the U.S. has increased by 50% compared to the highest point of the Trump administration in 2019. About half a million people have been deported by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Border Patrol authorities during that period.

"As a result of this increased enforcement, southwest border encounters have not increased, bucking previous trends. We will remain vigilant to continually shifting migration patterns," said Miller.

He also highlighted the role of enforcement by Mexican authorities within its territory, which has contributed to lowering the figures. A report by NBC News this week showed that Mexico is stopping nearly three times as many migrants within its territory. Authorities interdicted in March over 280,000 people, the figure being 189,000 inside the U.S. That compares to 193,000 in the U.S. and roughly 100,000 in Mexico in the same month of 2023.

Mexican Foreign Minister Alicia Bárcena has said the country committed to helping the U.S. reduce the flow of migrants to its southern border to 4,000 a day at most. They (U.S. officials) have the capacity to manage the crossing of 4,000 people along their border, but no more than 4,000," Bárcena said.

The official explained that the initiative started to take shape in December, when unauthorized crossings in both countries reached a record.

As for those who did get into the U.S., authorities said they granted entry to 41,400 people who had been granted online appointments through the CBP One app. That takes the total figure to more than 591,000 who entered with the app since its introduction in January 2023.

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