SAN DIEGO, Calif. - San Diego Sector Border Patrol leaders say illegal crossings have dramatically dropped in their region since March.
During a press conference Thursday morning, both CBP Commisioner Mark Morgan and Chief Patrol Agent Douglas Harrison gave Trump administration immigration policies credit for the decline.
Morgan praised a June agreement between the U.S. and Mexico. It sent thousands of Mexican National Guard troops to the country's southern and northern borders to deal with the crush of Central American migrants.
He also said newly established Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) have helped promote a "safer and more orderly process on our Southwest border." Morgan says MPP allows CBP officers to devote more time and resources to migrants who "legitimately merit asylum."
San Diego Sector made nearly 52-thousand apprehensions between October of 2018 and August of 2019. Agents arrested nearly 7,000 arrests in March, but only took 3,300 illegal immigrants into custody in August. That's a drop of 51-percent.
San Diego Sector Chief Border Patrol Agent Douglas Harrison said, "This is a welcome relief and indication that the Administration's policies are having a positive effect." Still, Harrison believe more must be done.
He points out that the region hasn't seen this large an influx of illegal migrants since 2010.
More than half of those apprehended during this fiscal year came from countries other than Mexico. Most came from Central America.
Border Patrol leaders say that makes it harder to return them to their home countries.
They say the number of families and unaccompanied minors also complicates agents enforcement efforts.