Customs and Border Protection Deputy Commissioner Robert Perez said Thursday that the drop in border apprehensions for a second straight month is proof that the deal with Mexico to stem the flow of migrants is working.
“It’s absolute proof. Unquestionably, an agreement with the government of Mexico that was literally unprecedented by way of the degree of cooperation, the commitment they’ve made, to enforce and go down in numbers with their National Guard and law enforcement along their border ... [with] Guatemala,” Perez told “Fox & Friends.”
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reported a significant drop in apprehensions at the southwest border in June, after an agreement with the Mexican government. For the month of July, DHS reported more than 72,000 apprehensions, down from more than 132,000 in May.
President Trump had threatened to punish Mexico with tariffs to force them to step up their own immigration enforcement efforts.
Perez added: “Interior enforcement up, as well as enforcement along our southern border--that coupled with the collaboration with the migrant protection protocol and some of the work that we’ve been doing with the northern triangle countries--all combined, you’ve seen those numbers drop now in two months in a row.”
Border patrol agents have been blasted by Democratic members of Congress, who've claimed there is a “dehumanizing culture” at the southern border and in detention facilities. Meantime, more than 600 Google employees are refusing to "be complicit" in any potential cloud computing work the tech giant might do for CBP.
In a petition posted on Wednesday to Medium, the employees wrote that CBP, along with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), is caging and harming asylum seekers, separating children from their parents and overseeing an abusive system.
Perez responded to those claims saying, “From my perspective, 26 years-plus of being in this business, policy debates are perfectly acceptable. The vilification of law enforcement professionals, not appreciating and understanding, frankly, what these dedicated public servants are doing every day, taking a sworn oath to protect their communities to put the lives of others before their own.”
"Our border patrol agents alone have rescued over 4,000 people in the middle of the deserts, in running dangerous rivers just this year. That is what’s really concerning to me,” he said.