Border security

Border apprehensions plummet as DHS touts enforcement push

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol is reporting another drop in the number of individuals apprehended along the U.S.-Mexico border.

According to Homeland Security data, the number of people apprehended in April dropped 5 percent from the month before – and 68 percent from the same period last year.

DHS spokesman David Lapan attributed the drop to a "change in our enforcement policy."

"People in Central America are waiting and watching what happens rather than taking the long journey," Lapan said.

He added, "When you get here, it's likely you will be caught and returned to your country. We're going to enforce the laws."

April saw a total of 11,129 individuals apprehended on the southwestern border. That’s down from 12,196 in March.

Apprehensions have been declining steadily since the beginning of 2017. They had surged last fall around the time of the presidential election, with officials recording 47,213 apprehensions last November.

However, Lapan cautioned that the smuggling of illicit drugs across the border is up.

Specifically, he said, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine smuggling remains “at levels we're not comfortable with."

Jake Gibson is a producer working at the Fox News Washington bureau who covers politics, law enforcement and intelligence issues.