U.S. Mexican Border Wall
U.S. Mexican Border Wall. Creative Commons

Concerns about unlawful immigration have plummeted in Americans' consideration over the past month, no longer being the top response in a monthly Gallup survey.

Asked an open-ended question about what they think the most important problem the country is facing at the moment, the amount who answered immigration dropped nine percentage points from April to May (27% to 18%).

The topic now ranks below "the government," with 21% of answers, and is just above the "economy in general" (17%). The decrease coincides with a drop in economic confidence among Americans, with Gallup showing its economic confidence index at -34, when it was -20 just two months ago.

Top problems in the U.S.
Top problems in the U.S., according to Americans Gallup

It also comes amid increased immigration enforcement by the Biden administration over the past months. Unlawful crossings at the southern border had decreased by more than half compared to December's record-highs during the first three weeks of the month, according to government internal figures reported by CBS News.

Concretely, authorities encountered an average of 3,700 people a day between official ports of entry during the first three weeks of may, a 54% drop compared to the 8,000 seen in December, when figures reached an all-time high and reached a quarter of a million in a single month.

The stats also mean that May is on track to represent the third monthly consecutive drop in encounters. Should the month end with the mentioned average, it would total about 111,000 apprehensions, compared to March's 137,000 and April's 129,000.

This is not only significant because of the sustained drop, but also due to the fact that it continues bucking a seasonal trend, as encounters typically increase during the spring and as the summer approaches in the Northern Hemisphere.

Increased enforcement by Mexican authorities has been credited as a key factor for the drop. A report by NBC News last week showed that Mexico is stopping nearly three times as many migrants within its territory compared to the previous year. 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.

And the Biden administration is set to continue broadening its toolbox to stem the flow of arrivals, as the White House is reportedly finalizing plans to suspend asylum requests and automatically deny entrances once the daily number of encounters exceeds a certain threshold.

The Associated Press reported that the measures include capping the amount of encounters to 4,000 per day over a week, the same amount Bárcena mentioned, and officials are still evaluating whether that figure includes those coming with appointments through U.S. Customs and Border Protection's CBP One app (1,450 a day).

© 2024 Latin Times. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.