WASHINGTON, DC -- Around 40 percent more migrants were detained at the Mexico-U.S. border in June than the month before, with the Washington Post noting that the jump came despite Trump administration efforts to swiftly "expel" illegal border-crossers.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection data released Thursday showed agents made 32,512 arrests and detentions along the border in June, an increase from 23,142 in May. The arrests were nearly double the 16,969 arrests reported in April.
Despite the June rise, CBP Acting Commissioner Mark A. Morgan said in a series of tweets that the numbers were still "65% lower than 104,311 encounters in June 2019."
But he did use the current migration increase to make the case for President Trump's $15 billion border wall project, tweeting that "it is imperative that we continue to build the border wall system."
Along with the numbers release, the Trump administration on Thursday also published a proposed a new rule that cites danger from the coronavirus pandemic as a justification for denying immigrants asylum claims.
"CBP continues to tackle unprecedented challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic," Morgan also tweeted. "At the end of the day, CBP will continue to prevent and deter illegal crossings that endanger the life of the American public."
The release of the latest border enforcement data came a day after President Trump met with Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador at the White House, where the two men lauded each other's cooperation on various issues including immigration, trade and efforts to deal with the coronavirus.
It is imperative that we continue to build the border wall system and enforce @CDCgov policies aimed at protecting the health of Americans. At the end of the day, @CBP will continue to prevent and deter illegal crossings that endanger the life of the American public.— CBP Mark Morgan (@CBPMarkMorgan) July 9, 2020