Mindanao Times

US expects drop in arrests on Mexico border in June

- Agence France-Presse

THE NUMBER of migrants taken into custody at the US-Mexico border is expected to drop by 25 percent in June, in part due to Mexican efforts to stem the flow, the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security said Friday.

More than 144,000 undocument­ed migrants were seized at the southweste­rn US border in May, part of a surge in recent months.

But Kevin McAleenan, the acting DHS secretary, said steps taken by Mexico -- under pressure from President Donald Trump -- to reduce the number of border-crossers appeared to be having an impact.

“These three weeks have demonstrat­ed that they are, already,” McAleenan told reporters. “That 25 percent decrease in June is more than we’ve seen in past years.”

McAleenan said the upcoming weeks will show exactly how effective the Mexican efforts have been.

“I think we’re going to

know, basically, by midJuly and certainly in the end of July if these efforts are sustained and having a significan­t impact,” he said.

The acting DHS secretary said a reduction in the number of migrants crossing the border would have a positive impact on the conditions in which they are being held in the United States.

The DHS and Border Patrol have been under criticism lately over the conditions in which migrants, particular­ly children, are being held.

“I think we’re going to see continued reduction in the numbers which will alleviate some of the capacity constraint­s we’ve had,” McAleenan said.

“That should present a much better situation at the border for the arriving migrants,” he said.

Earlier this month, Trump rattled world markets and defied his advisers by threatenin­g tariffs on all Mexican imports unless the country cracked down more on people pouring across the border into the United States.

Mexico avoided the duties after agreeing to bolster security on the border and expand its policy of taking back migrants, most of them from violence-riven Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, as the United States processes their asylum claims.

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