(CNSNews.com) - In July, a total of 31,303 individuals were apprehended between ports of entry on the Southwest Border, an 8.18 percent decline from the 34,095 in June and a 22.3 percent decrease from the 40,333 in May, the Customs and Border Protection Agency said on Wednesday.
Breaking down that 31,303 number, 3,938 unaccompanied children were apprehended between ports of entry on the Southwest Border last month, compared with 5,093 in June (a 22.67 percent decrease); and 6,378 in May (a 38.25 percent decrease). But year-to-year, the numbers are way up, from 2,475 in July '17 to 3,938 in July '18.
Most of the unaccompanied children crossing illegally into the United States so far this fiscal year have come from Guatemala, followed by Honduras, Mexico and El Salvador.
CBP said a total of 9,258 family units crossed illegally last month, a 1.86 percent decrease from the 9,434 in June and compared with 9,485 in May. But year to year, the number has more than doubled (3,389 in July '17 to 9,258 in July '18).
Most of the family units were also from Guatemala, followed by Honduras, El Salvador, and Mexico.
Also in July, 8,650 people presenting themselves at ports of entry on the Southwest Border were deemed inadmissible, down from 8,743 in June, and 11,567 in May.
Department of Homeland Security Press Secretary Tyler Q. Houlton released a statement, crediting the slightly improved numbers with the administration's much-criticized immigration crackdown:
Southwest Border Migration numbers dropped in July for the second month in a row. This decrease shows that when there are real consequences for breaking the law, the conduct of those considering crimes will change. In the month of July, we saw a decrease in illegal border crossings because human traffickers and Transnational Criminal Organizations were put on notice that this Administration was increasing prosecutions of those entering the country illegally. Despite our terribly broken immigration laws, the administration has still been able to impact illegal immigration - but we need Congress to act to fix our system.
At the same time, the number of family units apprehended at the border remains high and their percentage of total crossings has increased as court decisions prevent us from detaining and prosecuting family unit adults. The inability to apply consequences to any law breaker ultimately threatens the safety and security of the nation and its communities.
DHS is continuing to refer to DOJ single adult illegal border crossers for prosecution at historic rates. Additionally, the Secretary has been engaging weekly with Mexican and Central American officials to more aggressively tackle the root causes of this crisis—and DHS has received commitments on specific actions that can be taken with and by our partners to confront the issue more decisively.