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Border Arrests Tick Up, Ending Eight Months of Downward Trend

AP Photo/Eric Gay

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials gave an operation update for the month of Feb. 2020. Ending an eight-month downward trend, enforcement actions ticked up along the Southwest border in the month of Feb. The agency attributed the overall increase to a rise in the number of single adult Mexicans and unaccompanied children entering the United States, while all other categories of apprehensions continued to drop. 

CBP made a total of 37,119 enforcement actions last month, a small increase over January's numbers. CBP officials also announced a rise in methamphetamine and fentanyl seizures along the southwest border and the discovery of a significant smuggling tunnel. Over 191,000 pounds of illegal drugs were seized along the Southwest border in the month of Feb.  

"As we construct a new Wall System along the southwest border, CBP continues to see the increased smuggling of hard drugs through our ports of entry," said Executive Assistant Commissioner Todd Owen of CBP’s Office of Field Operations in a statement. "This month our seizures of meth are up 66% over this time last year."

The agency announced that last month's enforcement actions still marked a 52 percent decrease compared to Feb. 2019, and a 74 percent decrease overall since the peak of the border security crisis.

"The processing pathways and repatriation initiatives which have been implemented by the administration have had a profound effect on CBP’s ability to gain operational control of our borders," Border Patrol Chief Rodney Scott said in a statement.  "The Journey is Futile message is resonating with family units, which are at their lowest point since April of 2018. We will continue to utilize every available resource to secure the borders of the United States and keep our communities safe."

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