April 9 (UPI) -- Undocumented immigration apprehensions along the southern border fell in March, possibly due to stringent travel restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Thursday.
According to new data from the CBP, agents captured 29,953 people in March at the southwest border, a 0.4 percent decrease from 30,074 in February. At regular ports of entry, border patrol turned away 3,984 people in March compared to 6,440 in February.
President Donald Trump closed the border to non-essential travel on March 20 in connection with the coronavirus. Travel restrictions in Mexico because of the pandemic likely had an impact on those numbers, allowing fewer immigrants from reaching the U.S.-Mexico border.
"Additionally, 80 percent of the people who we are encountering since the March 21 enactment of Title 42 are being returned to the country from where they came within two hours," a statement from Customs and Border Patrol said.
"The Border Patrol's in-custody numbers on the Southwest border have declined by approximately 140 percent since March 21, a 95 percent drop from the average of 3,000.
COVID-19 cases continued to increase in Mexico. According to the latest statistics from the World Health Organization, Mexico confirmed 296 new cases, giving the country an overall total of 2,439 with 125 deaths.