WASHINGTON, D.C. — The number of illegal immigrants crossing the U.S. border is down by a whopping 67 percent, former border commissioner David V. Aguilar told Congress on Tuesday.
The latest statistics are even higher than those reported last February when the U.S. Border Patrol reported a drop of over 40 percent.
“It’s actually up to a 67 percent drop compared to last year,” Aguilar, former chief of the Border Patrol and former acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said while testifying before the Senate Homeland Security Committee.
Aguilar credited the efforts of president Trump, who has ordered that border agents be made more available to patrol the border between the United States and Mexico for the reduction in numbers. Aguilar also said Trump’s plans to build a border wall have deterred possibly tens of thousands of would-be border jumpers.
The phenomenon is reminiscent of a drop that occurred during the 1980’s, said Aguilar, when then president Reagan cracked down on illegal immigration after legal status was provided to millions of undocumented immigrants.
The Trump administration has proposed $1.6 billion toward the cost of building a wall across the U.S. southern border, taxpayer funds that the president says he will force the government of Mexico to reimburse.