It’s simple thought – why cross and risk arrest if you know now you’re going to be sent back?

MCALLEN, Texas (AP) — Just five people were eating dinner on a recent weeknight at a Texas church that is a stopping point for newly arrived immigrants on the U.S.-Mexico border. On a typical night last year, hundreds of immigrants might come through the church.

Immigrants who are still coming say many people in their home countries are staying home amid fears about President Donald Trump’s immigration rhetoric, putting off coming to the U.S. until they see how his policies play out.

“There are mothers who heard that Trump might change the law to remove parents and keep the children here,” said Jose Gonzalez, a 29-year-old father of two from El Salvador. “That stopped a lot of people.”

The first months of the new administration have seen a huge drop in the number of people being caught by agents on the U.S.-Mexico border, raising the possibility that a “Trump effect” is keeping migrants away.

Fewer than 12,500 people were caught at the southern border in March, the lowest monthly figure in at least 17 years and the second straight month that border arrests dropped sharply. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, in testimony submitted to a Senate committee, called the decline “no accident” and credited Trump.

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