For all of Donald Trump’s tough talk on Mexico on the campaign trail, few concrete moves to secure the United States’ southern border have materialized in the first 100 days of his presidency. This is partly because of the inherent limitations of the office; to even begin trying to turn the ambitious pledge of building a border wall into a reality, the president would have to first secure the funding from Congress. So far, though, lawmakers have been reluctant to release any money for the project.
Yet while Trump’s vision of a wall has been too impractical to implement, there is one statistic the president can point to as a win on border security. Since his election in November, the number of illegal immigrants apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border has plummeted. In October 2016, U.S. Customs and Border Protection detained about 45,000 people there; by March, that monthly figure had fallen to 17,000. Both Trump and the Department of Homeland Security have touted this drop-off as proof that the president is already making good on his vow to tighten border security and stem the flow of illegal migrants from the south.