The acting chief of U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Tuesday that illegal immigration across the southwest border will be at a 45-year when final 2017 numbers are fully tallied, and he credited President Trump with the success.
Kevin K. McAleenan, who is acting commissioner and has been nominated to take the job permanently, said that while the numbers look good, he still wants to see parts of President Trump’s 70-point immigration enforcement plan go into effect to make still more progress.
The border success this year is all the more surprising because fiscal year 2017 started off terribly, with a massive new surge of illegal immigrants caught trying to sneak in during the final months of the Obama administration.
But after Mr. Trump took office the numbers dropped dramatically, in what Mr. McAleenan said “was due to very clear messaging” by the new president that immigration laws would be enforced.
“We are fully tallying our 2017 results but in all likelihood it’s going to be the lowest level of illegal crossings between ports of entry in over 45 years,” the acting chief told the Senate Finance Committee.