Statement by Secretary Jeh C. Johnson on Southwest Border Security [January 4, 2016] [open pdf - 180KB]
On January 4, the Department of Homeland Security issued the following press release: "As I have said repeatedly, our borders are not open to illegal migration; if you come here illegally, we will send you back consistent with our laws and values. In the spring and summer of 2014 we faced a significant spike in families and unaccompanied children from Central America attempting to cross our southern border illegally. In response, we took a number of actions in collaboration with the governments of Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, and the numbers declined dramatically. In Fiscal Year 2015, the number of apprehensions by U.S. Border Patrol of those attempting to cross our southern border illegally -- an indicator of total attempts to cross the border illegally -- decreased to 331,333. With the exception of one year, this was the lowest number of apprehensions on our southern border since 1972. In recent months, however, the rate of apprehensions on our southern border has begun to climb again. In November 2014, I issued new priorities for immigration enforcement as part of the President's immigration accountability executive actions. These new Department-wide priorities focus our enforcement resources on convicted criminals and threats to public safety. These new enforcement priorities also focus on border security, namely the removal of those apprehended at the border or who came here illegally after January 1, 2014. We must enforce the law in accordance with these priorities, and secure our borders."
U.S. Department of Homeland Security: http://www.dhs.gov/