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Number of migrants arrested at border drops for first time in 5 months

A border patrol officer checks a migrant's arm which is in a cast.
Border Patrol checks the arm of an immigrant from Guatemala. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

In July, the number of migrants arrested or turned away at the southwest border fell below 100,000 — to 82,049– for the first time in 5 months, according to new Homeland Security data.

The big picture: The significant drop in border activity comes as Mexico has cracked down on immigration enforcement following President Trump's threat to impose tariffs on Mexican goods. Guatemala also recently signed a “safe third country“ agreement, which will force more asylum seekers to pursue protection in Guatemala instead of the U.S.

By the numbers: There has been a 43% decrease in the number of migrants arrested or turned away at the border since May, but there were still more encounters than any other July since at least 2012.

  • Border patrol arrested more border crossers last month than during any other July since 2005, according to DHS data.

Context: Border activity typically falls during the heat of the summer, but the drop over the past 2 month has been sharper than most years in the past.