Apr 5, 2018 - Politics & Policy

Attempts to cross the U.S.-Mexico border surged in March

The number of apprehensions during attempts to cross the United States-Mexico border spiked last month, following record low numbers during President Trump's first year in office, according to data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Data: U.S. Customs and Border Protection; Chart: Lazaro Gamio / Axios
Data: U.S. Customs and Border Protection; Chart: Lazaro Gamio / Axios

The big picture: Trump has recently stepped up his calls for increased border security — including days of fiery tweets — and called for sending the National Guard to the border until a wall is built. And just this morning, he claimed via tweet: “Because of the Trump Administrations actions, Border crossings are at a still UNACCEPTABLE 46 year low. Stop drugs!”

Yes, but: Historically, border crossings have increased in the spring and summer due to warmer weather. Last year, uncertainty surrounding Trump’s immigration policies likely contributed to an anomalous decrease in border crossings, but it appears the seasonal trends are back.

Our thought bubble: This bump in border crossings is likely to keep the Trump administration pushing for its preferred merit-based immigration reform and tougher border security. One senior administration official gave reporters a summer lookahead on a call yesterday: “The issue of border security will be one of the biggest issues on Congress’s plate. That level of attention will make it very possible to pass a bill.” Of course, just because the White House wants it doesn't mean that it's going to happen, especially with midterms looming.

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