U.S. border agencies apprehended 42,000 migrants at the southern border in October, down 14 percent from September, the acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) told reporters at the White House.
“This administration has taken bold action … [and] the numbers show it is working,” said Mark Morgan, the acting border commissioner. But, he added, “there still remains a humanitarian crisis at our southern border.”
The administration’s success comes despite inaction by Congress, he said. “We sounded the alarm … unfortunately, not a single piece of meaningful legislation has been brought forward, and as a result, this country stood by and watched as the crisis worsened.”
“I am absolutely perplexed why Congress cannot come together on a bipartisan manner to correct this,” he added.
In contrast, the administration has worked with governments in Mexico and Central America to build a multilayered defense against economic migrants, he said. “We have initiated a network of initiatives, policies, and regulations to so stem the flow of migration. Together, we’re approaching this as the regional crisis that it is, and we have seen incredible success.”
The initiatives include partial migrant-return deals with El Salvador and Guatemala, large-scale security cooperation with Mexico that has allowed the return of 50,000 migrants from the United States to Mexico under the Migrant Protection Protocols, plus rollbacks in asylum rules.
Lower migration into the United States will help nudge up wages and curb rents for blue-collar Americans, and it will pressure companies to invest more in productivity-raising technology.
The October arrivals included fewer Central American families, he said. The majority of the 42,000 migrants were from Mexico, and single adults outnumbered family units, he said.
The 42,000 total includes 35,444 arrests — including 22,863 single adults — plus 9,806 people deemed “inadmissable.” The agency reported:
"inadmissibility metrics include: individuals encountered at ports of entry who are seeking lawful admission into the United States but are determined to be inadmissible, individuals presenting themselves to seek humanitarian protection under our laws, and individuals who withdraw an application for admission and return to their countries of origin within a short timeframe."
The number of asylum-seeking migrants who were apprehended at the border does not include illegals who successfully snuck past the border. “Last year, more than 150,000 migrants who illegally entered the country, got away,” Morgan said.
Much of the administration’s multilayered defense against migration has been blocked in court by pro-migration groups, such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), by business groups such as the FWD.us, and by pro-migrant Democrats in Congress. President Donald Trump is likely to win most of those lawsuits — if he gets reelected in November 2020.