Nov 15, 2019

Apprehensions dwindle at southern border as fewer migrant families seek asylum

Customs and Border Patrol Commissioner Mark Morgan. Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Officials apprehended more than 42,000 people at the U.S.-Mexico border last month, Customs and Border Patrol commissioner Mark Morgan said on Thursday, per CNN.

Why it matters: The number of apprehensions has continued to drop since its peak of 133,000 earlier this year. Morgan pointed to a 14% dip since September, CNN notes.

  • While CBP held nearly 20,000 people in custody at its border facilities over the summer, Morgan said the daily average now hovers at 3,500, CNN reports.

Context: Morgan said, "[F]or the first time in 18 months, Mexico was the country of origin for the majority of apprehensions and inadmissible aliens, rather than Northern Triangle countries..." He also noted the number of single adults arrests exceeding that of families.

  • Border officials struggled to cope with the number of families at the border, as the "demographics of people arriving at the southern border earlier this year created an added challenge for the department," CNN writes.
  • In response, the Trump administration changed policies to limit who could qualify for asylum in the U.S.

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Pentagon inspector general to review troop deployments at southern border

An active-duty U.S. Army soldier scans for undocumented immigrants near the U.S.-Mexico border, Sept. 10, Penitas, Texas. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

The Defense Department's inspector general plans to review how U.S. soldiers are actually used to support security operations at the U.S-Mexico border, according to a memo first reported by NBC News.

Why it matters: The review could answer some questions posed by House Democrats, who are concerned that soldiers deployed to the border could violate laws prohibiting the use of the military in civilian law enforcement.

Go deeperArrowDec 10, 2019

Report: Top border official Mark Morgan broke rules to fund happy hours

Mark Morgan. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Acting commissioner for the Customs and Border Protection agency Mark Morgan broke federal rules in a previous position by soliciting sponsors to pay for FBI happy hours, the San Francisco Chronicle newly reports.

Where it stands: Morgan continued the practice even after being warned that asking outside entities to fund the functions was not in compliance with federal rules, according to the Justice Department’s inspector general.

Go deeperArrowNov 26, 2019

ICE arrested fewer people in 2019 as focus shifted to the border

Photo: Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post via Getty Images

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested fewer people this fiscal year, as the agency shifted its priorities to the U.S.-Mexico border, the agency announced Wednesday.

By the numbers: ICE officers arrested approximately 143,000 undocumented immigrants in fiscal year 2019, nearly 13,000 fewer than the year prior. The agency deported more than 267,000 people — an increase from FY 2018. The number of people apprehended or not admitted at the border, meanwhile, increased by 68% from the previous fiscal year.

Go deeperArrowDec 11, 2019