Border arrests dropped 43% since May, officials say

SAN DIEGO -- Officials held a news conference at the San Diego Border Patrol headquarters Thursday morning.

Chief Patrol Agent Douglas Harrison discussed border arrest numbers and other updates from the agency.

According to new numbers, local border apprehensions are the highest since 2010. “So far this year, there have been over 55,000 arrests in the San Diego Sector - that's averaging 162 a day," said Harrison.

But despite a year-to-year increase, there’s been a major shift in recent months with apprehensions in a steep decline -- a 43% drop from May to August.

“This decrease in apprehensions is seen across all key demographics -- unaccompanied children, families and single adults," Harrison said.

In part, Border Patrol officials credit Mexico, which earlier this summer sent 10,000 troops to its southern border and another 15,000 to its northern border with the U.S.

“Fewer and fewer people are starting the inherently dangerous journey to the U.S. -- also fewer people are inclined to trust the criminal organizations to smuggle them in," Harrison said.

Of the 55,000 apprehended this fiscal year, the Border Patrol says nearly half are from countries other than Mexico, and most of those are in Central America.

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