The number of people caught illegally crossing into the United States from Mexico dramatically plunged last month, The Associated Press reported Tuesday.
In written testimony submitted to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said that fewer than 12,500 people were arrested trying to enter the U.S. in March — down 70 percent from the more than 43,000 people caught in February.
The number marks the fewest illegal immigration detentions at the southern border in at least 17 years, according to the AP.
In the testimony, Kelly says that President Trump’s tough immigration policies and promises to ramp up border security have ultimately driven down the number of people trying to enter the country.
As a presidential candidate, Trump campaigned on strengthening U.S. immigration enforcement and increasing deportations of undocumented immigrants. His young administration has already stepped up arrests of immigrants already living in the U.S. illegally, and he has authorized the construction of a massive wall along the southern border — a key campaign promise.