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Apprehensions Along Southern Border Drop Dramatically In 2015

The Department of Homeland Security says there has been a sharp drop in the apprehension of illegal crossers at the U.S. southern border.

NPR's John Burnett reports that the first six months of fiscal year 2015 saw a 28 percent drop compared to the same period of 2014. John filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"Homeland Security credits the Border Patrol for beefing up its agents and its surveillance technology. It also touts the aggressive anti-immigration publicity campaign in Central America — where many of the migrants originate. Many analysts say the biggest change is that Mexico is doing more to stop immigrants from passing through its territory.

"Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson spoke to reporters Friday.

"'The number is down considerably in all categories: total apprehensions, unaccompanied children, family units as well as single adults,' Johnson said.

"The news is significant, as spring is usually a time when unauthorized immigrants take advantage of mild weather in the Southwestern backcountry."

The Arizona Republic reports that Border Patrol agents have also been apprehending fewer unaccompanied minors. If you remember, last summer the U.S. saw a wave of children from Central America attempting to cross the border illegally.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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