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Border apprehensions drop thanks to Mexican government, officials say

(Getty images Photo/John Moore)

PHOENIX — Apprehensions at the border are dropping thanks to the increased involvement of the Mexican government, according to immigration officials.

Border Patrol Agent Jim Curran told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News on Thursday that the drop was around 20% in the Tucson Sector, while Yuma saw a more dramatic decrease of nearly 50%.

In May, total apprehensions had jumped to nearly 133,000, the first time they had passed 100,000 since April 2007. Agents apprehended nearly 95,000 in June, a 28% drop.

“Increased enforcement operations with our partners in Mexico definitely plays a role in all this,” Curran said.

Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, agreed that Mexico’s involvement helped the numbers decrease.

“If we could have had the Mexican government working with us in the past, we wouldn’t have had a problem on the border,” Judd told Arizona’s Morning News on Wednesday.

“And so if you look at the current crisis that exists, if Mexico steps up like they’re currently doing, we’re going to be able to get a better handle on what’s taking place on the border right now.”

Curran said the fewer apprehensions is helping the agency gain control of the overflow of immigrants in custody.

“This drop in numbers, it allows us to focus more on the law enforcement operations side of things,” he said.

“And what is also does, it continues to make our holding facilities as safe as possible” by allowing people to flow through the system more efficiently, he said.

About 2,000 family units were released into Arizona during the latest three-week period measured (June 17 through July 1), compared to nearly 3,000 in the two weeks prior.

The total released into the state since Dec. 21 has reached 40,000.

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