Two weeks ago the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that the numbers of unaccompanied children and adults with children apprehended at the Southwest border had declined significantly in the month of July. At the current rate, the numbers in the month of August will be even lower. However, Secretary Johnson stated then that we must guard against a reversal of this trend, and DHS's efforts to prevent and deter illegal migration across the Southwest Border continue. As part of this overall campaign, in July Secretary Johnson and the Department of Justice announced Operation Coyote, a surge in personnel to the Rio Grande Valley to target and dismantle human smuggling operations, and to interdict the flow of money to these organizations.
Secretary Johnson today announced that, as part of Operation Coyote so far, 363 smugglers and their associates have been arrested, and more than $800,000 in illicit payments to smuggling organizations have been seized from 438 bank accounts. Secretary Johnson stated:
"Though we are pleased that the number of migrants crossing our border illegally into the Rio Grande Valley has decreased significantly, we remain determined to go after the Coyotes who, by misinformation and exploitation, encourage this dangerous illegal migration. We must also continue to interdict the payments to Coyotes to discourage migrants and their families from making these payments. Migrants and their families need to know that, in light of our intensified efforts, they risk losing large sums of money intended to pay for illegal activity. I also appreciate the cooperation and partnership we have received from state and local law enforcement authorities, as well as from the Government of Mexico."