Sep 9, 2019 - Politics & Policy

Acting CBP head touts falling border numbers at rare press briefing

Mark Morgan testifying in front of Congress.

Mark Morgan. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

The number of border crossings last month fell again to 64,006 from a decade high of 144,266 in May, acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan announced from the White House on Monday.

Why it matters: Morgan, who got the job largely thanks to his defense of Trump's policies on Fox News, used the rare press briefing to defend Trump's border wall and praise the administration's restrictions on asylum-seekers. He also praised the Mexican government's cracking down on migrants traveling through the country toward the U.S., but added that it needed to do more.

Between the lines: While Mexico's efforts and the Migrant Protection Protocols — the policy that forces asylum-seekers to remain in Mexico during their immigration proceedings — have likely had an impact on the flow of migrants into the U.S., border crossings tend to begin falling around this time of year. The number of migrants arrested or turned away from the border was still higher last month than any other August since at least FY 2013, according to CBP data.

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