The number of undocumented migrants detained near the United States’ border with Mexico fell by almost a third in 2015, US government data showed.
Arrests by the Border Patrol fell by 30 percent to 337,117 in fiscal year 2015 — the second lowest number since 1972, according to data released by the Department of Homeland Security.
It marked an 80 percent drop from the peak reached in 2000.
“Overall this decrease indicates that the investments that we’ve made in border security are proving effective and that we are seeing fewer attempts to illegally cross the border,” said a senior DHS official on condition of anonymity.
Illegal immigration is a highly sensitive issue in American politics, particularly in the Republican camp which is torn between calls for toughness, and attempts to woo Hispanic voters with a more understanding approach.
Republican White House frontrunner Donald Trump has made clamping down on illegal migration a hot-button issue, summed up in an oft-repeated pledge to build a wall along the Mexican border.
Of the 337,117 people apprehended near the US border, 188,122 were Mexican, 57,160 Guatemalan, 43,564 Salvadoran and 33,848 Honduran.
The number of minors intercepted dropped sharply, by 41 percent, to 39,838 in 2015.
A worrying spike in the number of unaccompanied minors crossing the border the previous year had led President Barack Obama to seek Mexico’s help in addressing the humanitarian crisis.
Obama’s administration moved to reform immigration policy by executive order after attempts at reform through Congress became hopelessly stalled.
The Supreme Court now has to rule on measures enacted by his administration that would shield four million undocumented migrants from deportation.
There are nearly 12 million unauthorized immigrants in the United States, many of them Mexicans who have lived and worked in the country for many years.
According to DHS data, the United States deported a total of 462,463 people from the country in 2015.
Woman allegedly involved in Central Park scandal placed on leave from job: ‘We do not condone racism’
Video circulated on social media on Memorial Day of a woman in Central Park claiming she was calling 911 to falsely claim an "African-American man" was threatening her life.
It reportedly started after he filmed her walking her dog without a leash.
Internet sleuths worked to identify the woman. During the day on Monday, rumors of her identity spread online.
Scientists fight online coronavirus misinformation war
With cat photos and sometimes scathing irony, Mathieu Rebeaud, a Swiss-based researcher in biochemistry, has nearly tripled his Twitter following since the coronavirus pandemic began.
With 14,000 followers, he posts almost daily, giving explanations on the latest scientific research and, in particular, aims to fight misinformation that spreads as fast as the virus itself.
He is among a growing number of doctors, academics and institutions who in recent weeks have adapted and amplified their scientific messaging in hopes of countering what has been termed an infodemic -- a deluge of information, including widespread false claims, which experts say can pose a serious threat to public health.
Ted Cruz doesn’t want people shamed with body bags for going to beach: ‘Please stop the hate’
In early May, Florida attorney Daniel Uhlfelder made news by dressing up as the Grim Reaper in an attempt to scare people from crowding beaches during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Days later, he escalated by laying out body bags on the steps of the Florida capitol building in Tallahassee.
He escalated further on Saturday by announcing he would be handing out body bags to Florida beachgoers and started a fundraiser with the funds going to two progressive Political Action Committees.
The effort caught the eye of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).