WASHINGTON—The U.S. Border Patrol arrested about 36,300 people crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally in October, a 10% drop from the previous month, according to new numbers reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.
The latest figure represents a nearly 75% decrease from May, when the number of migrants crossing the border peaked at 132,856. The monthly numbers have dropped steadily since.
Overall, more than 850,000 migrants were apprehended at the border in 2019, a 12-year high for the year ended in September, driven by a rise in families fleeing violence and poverty in Central America to seek asylum protections in the U.S.
The surge in migrants, nearly double the number who arrived in 2018, overwhelmed the government’s border facilities and prompted Congress to pass an emergency aid package to improve cramped and squalid conditions inside the detention centers where migrants are being held.