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US Border Arrests Drop for Second Month

  • VOA News

President Barack Obama, Aug. 28, 2014.

President Barack Obama, Aug. 28, 2014.

President Barack Obama says arrests at the U.S. border with Mexico have dropped for the second straight month.

Obama told reporters in Washington Thursday that "the good news is, we've started to make some progress."

Although final figures for August have not been released, the president said that number is expected to be lower than the same period last year, despite tens of thousands of Central American children and families arriving through Mexico in recent months.

The decrease will relieve pressure from centers that are over-capacity since detentions skyrocketed between March and June.

"What that, I think, allows us to do is make sure those kids are being taken care of - properly, with due process. At the same time, it's allowed us to then engage in a broader conversation about what we need to do to get more resources down at the border," Obama said.

Last year, roughly 31,500 children traveling alone were detained at the southern U.S. border. That number is expected to more than double this year, despite decreases from June to July, and now August.

Obama on Thursday also repeated his pledge to take more executive actions if Congress does not agree to immigration reform by the end of the year.

"In the absence of Congressional action, I'm going to do what I can to make sure the system works better," he said.

Earlier on Thursday, authorities arrested 145 people for blocking a sidewalk in front of the White House during a rally for changes to the country's immigration system.