The number of attempted illegal entries at the southwestern border declined in January, new data from the Department of Homeland Security show, representing both a drop from Obama-era highs and an increase from the exceptional lows during the early days of the Trump administration.
Some 35,822 people attempted to cross the southwestern border in January, composed of 25,980 individuals who were apprehended attempting to cross the border not at an established port of entry, and 9,842 individuals who were denied entry because they lacked the requisite documentation.
That total represents an 11 percent decline from December, when slightly more than 40,000 people attempted to cross the border. However, it is a marked increase as compared against the pronounced lows in the middle of 2017, a year that saw a significant decline in the rate of attempted border crossings.
Often attributed to the tough-on-immigration rhetoric of President Donald Trump, the so-called Trump Effect saw attempted border crossings drop as low as 15,766 people in April of last year. Rates rose again through the fall and early winter of 2017, but still remained below the highs of President Barack Obama’s term. In October of 2016, 66,708 people attempted to cross the border; similarly high rates appear throughout Obama’s second term in office, including a record 68,804 in May of 2014.