The Department of Homeland Security said Tuesday that apprehensions of illegal immigrants at the border fell 31 percent in fiscal 2015, but said that decline is good news, as it's a sign that fewer illegal immigrants are trying to cross the border into the U.S.

In its year-end report, DHS said 337,117 people were apprehended at the border, down from 486,651 in the prior year. Secretary Jeh Johnson said that shows fewer people are trying.

"[T]he removal numbers were driven by the dramatic decrease in those apprehended at the border in FY 2015 — 337,117 — the second lowest apprehension number since 1972, reflecting a lower level of attempted illegal migration at our borders," he said.

But Republicans in Congress were already doubting DHS's explanation, and said lower overall enforcement numbers were the real reason for the decline.

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