Acting Director of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Ken Cuccinelli, speaks during a briefing at the White House, Monday, Aug. 12, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
UPDATED 4:20 PM PT — Saturday, February 8, 2020
Acting Deputy DHS Secretary Ken Cuccinelli praised the Trump administration’s ‘Remain in Mexico’ initiative for an eight-month decline in border arrests. On Friday, Cuccinelli confirmed about 60,000 asylum seekers had been processed and will be required to stay in Mexico because of the program.
In a statement last month, DHS officials certified the policy’s effectiveness and expanded it to cover more ports of entry.
FILE – This March 2, 2019 photo shows a Customs and Border Control agent patrols on the US side of a razor-wire-covered border wall along the Mexico east of Nogales, Ariz. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel,File)
Cuccinelli also said the Mexican government has been an outstanding partner, who continues to contribute to border security for both countries.
“It’s hard to measure how many may have been deterred from coming to the southern border,” he said. “But we just had our eighth month in a row of declining apprehensions and inadmissible turn-aways at the southern border.”
Before the ‘Remain in Mexico’ initiative, asylum seekers were often released in the U.S. to await court dates. Cuccinelli also credited the low rate of approved asylum requests as another factor in the decline of apprehensions.