Illegal crossing arrests at Mexican border dropped by about 20,000 in July: Officials

The number of people arrested for illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border declined by approximately 20,000 in July, the second monthly decline in a row following a steep increase this spring, according to three senior Homeland Security officials and a nongovernmental official.

Apprehensions, or those arrested by U.S. Border Patrol agents for entering the country between official crossing points on the southwest border, dropped more than 20% from June’s 95,000 arrests to about 72,000 in July, officials said.

Illegal crossing arrests along the southwest border have dropped about 45% from a peak of 132,000 in May, which was the highest total since 2006. Arrests are an indicator of the rate at which people are attempting to cross illegally.

The Department of Homeland Security is expected to announce the July numbers later this week, likely Thursday.

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