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Illegal Crossings Plunge As US Extends Policy Across Border

Elliot Spagat
AP Photo
In this Jan. 11, 2020, photo, Enma Floriana chats with her 13-year-old son in the stairway of a migrant shelter in Mexicali, Mexico. The Guatemalan family is seeking asylum in a San Diego immigration court. Illegal border crossings have plummeted as the T

Illegal border crossings have plummeted after the Trump administration made more asylum-seekers wait in Mexico for hearings in U.S. immigration court.The drop has been most striking on Arizona's western border, a pancake-flat desert. Border arrests there fell 94% from May to October. A Border Patrol official says traffic plunged after asylum-seekers learned they couldn't stay in the U.S. while their cases wound through court. More than 55,000 asylum-seekers were returned to Mexico to wait for hearings through November, 10 months after the policy was introduced in San Diego.