U.S. Customs and Border Protection this week reported a surge in the number of border apprehensions for August, which hit the highest level since President Trump took office in January.
Border officers apprehended 30,567 people in August, which was 5,547 people or 22 percent more than July's report of 25,025, according to new CBP data.
That figure was more than 21,000 people lower than August 2016, when the Obama administration apprehended 51,961 illegal immigrants. With one month to go until the end of fiscal year 2017, the Trump administration is reporting apprehensions and inadmissibles 24 percent lower than the same period last year.
Still, the number of apprehensions has increased each month since April, a sign that Trump's early success in scaring off illegal immigrants may be fading. Officials have generally interpreted increases and drops in the number of apprehensions as a proxy for how many people are trying to enter the U.S. illegally.
Illegal immigration through the southern border typically rises in the summer months because the warmer weather provides better traveling conditions for people making the trek from Central and South America. But over the last several years, apprehension numbers have started falling or holding steady by June or July, and this year seems to be an exception.
The number of unaccompanied minors apprehended at the border crept up to 2,994 in August and family units jumped to 4,645. Both numbers were the highest since January.
Apprehension and inadmissible numbers dropped to 17-year record lows each month between January and April.
Trump is working to make good on his promise to secure the southern border. The Department of Homeland Security announced last week it has selected six companies that it will award up to $2.4 billion to build four concrete and four alternative wall prototypes at the U.S.-Mexico border, according to new data from the federal government.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced this latest step last Thursday to carrying out President Trump's campaign promise to secure the southern border, which will start with companies building prototypes.