Number Of Migrants Reaching US Border Down 39% Since May, Hitting Five-Month Low

The number of migrants reaching the US-Mexico border hit a five-month low in July following the deployment of the National Guard to address the problem of illegal migration, according to Mexico's top diplomat.

Speaking with reporters on Tuesday, Secretary of Foreign Affairs Marcelo Ebrard announced a 39% drop in migrants traveling through Mexico towards the United States since May, when there were 144,278 migrants vs. 87,648 in July. This marks the lowest number since February, when 76,533 migrants were recorded, according to the Associated Press

Ebrard said the drop is the result of greater Mexican enforcement of its immigration laws, as well as investment in job creation in Central America.

Ebrard said Mexico would hold a conference soon to attract international donors for a Central America development plan.

He said Mexico would not provide shelters for all the migrants sent back to Mexico by the United States while awaiting resolution of their U.S. asylum requests.

That has become an issue in the Mexican border city of Nuevo Laredo, where hundreds of migrants have been bused from the dangerous border town to the city of Monterrey, and simply left at a bus station. -Associated Press

According to Ebrard, the problem of overcrowding in cities with migrants waiting to file asylum claims with the US has declined in some areas. 

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"People shouldn’t think that at all points along the border we are going to receive more migrants every day," he said. "In Tijuana there has been a very, very, very big drop. In Yuma, on our side in Sonora, in Ciudad Juarez, there has been a significant decrease."

According to a poll released earlier this month by local daily Reforma and the Washington Post, 64% of Mexicans think migrants are a burden on the country, while 51% agree with the decision to use the National Guard to combat illegal migration.