There was a 40 percent drop in the number of illegal border crossings from January to February of this year, according to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
Compared to last year's 31,578 people, CBP said, there were 18,762 people this year who were apprehended near the border.
CBP said usually, they see an increase in the number of people crossing the border towards the beginning of the year. But due to heavy enforcement of immigration laws after President Donald Trump's inaguaration in January, this was the lowest monthly total in about the last five years.
According to a statement by Border Protection, "The decrease is also encouraging news because it means many fewer people are putting themselves and their families at risk of exploitation, assault and injury by human traffickers and the physical dangers of the treacherous journey north."
CBP said they have noticed increased fees charged by human smugglers near the southwest border--they credited the increase to changes in U.S. policy related to illegal border crossings.
"As directed in my memoranda implementing the President’s executive orders, we remain committed to carrying out fair, impartial and humane enforcement of the nation’s immigration laws," CBP said in a statement.