Illegal Southwest border crossings were down 40% last month, according to just released Customs and Border Protection numbers -- a sign that President Donald Trump's hardline rhetoric and policies on immigration may be having a deterrent effect.
Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly himself announced the month-to-month numbers, statistics that CBP usually quietly posts on its website without fanfare.
According to CBP data, the 40% drop in illegal Southwest border crossings from January to February is far outside normal seasonal trends. Typically, the January to February change is actually an increase of 10% to 20%.
The drop breaks a nearly 20-year trend, as CBP data going back to 2000 shows an uptick in apprehensions every February.
The number of apprehensions and inadmissible individuals presenting at the border was 18,762 people in February, down from 31,578 in January.