McAleenan: 2,600 Border Crossers a Day Is an Improvement From Previous 4,650 a Day

By Susan Jones | July 29, 2019 | 6:20am EDT
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan testifies before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on July 18, 2019. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

( - "The situation's improving on the border by almost every measure, but we do remain in the midst of a significant humanitarian and border security crisis," Acting Homeland Security Director Kevin McAleenan told "Sunday Morning Futures" with Maria Bartiromo.

He pointed to the numbers:

Back in May, we were apprehending about 4,650 people a day at that southern border. Now that number's about 2,600. So we have had a significant drop, 28 percent in June, another 20-plus percent in July so far, and that's due to two administration initiatives, engaging our international partners in Mexico and Guatemala in particular.

Mexico has stepped up and addressed security on their southern border between Chiapas and Guatemala and the transportation routes that smugglers are using. And, as you heard, Guatemala's agreed not only to work with us on asylum in the region, but has already been taking actions to tackle criminal organizations that are smuggling families and kids.

At the same time, we have reduced the number of people in custody at the border, those challenging situations with crowding that we were having. We had almost 20,000 people in custody in early June. That number last night was 7,200, and we have reduced the number of unaccompanied children by 90 percent.

So, we have made a lot of progress, thanks to the president's engagement, the administration's efforts, and finally Congress giving us the emergency supplemental funding, but we got more to do.

McAleenan said thanks to Mexico's border security efforts, there haven't been any large groups migrating north in recent weeks.

"Where you were at the border, Maria, in El Paso, we were seeing groups of 400," McAleenan said. "In one case, 1,036 people crossed together at that point. In July, we have had groups in RGV (Rio Grande Valley) have over 100, a few of them. But it's a completely different scenario than May, when we had 28 large groups and up to 1,000 per group. It was a very different and challenging effort."

McAleenan said congressional action -- ending the incentives that bring people here illegally -- is "the only fundamental, durable solution to this crisis."

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