HIDALGO COUNTY, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Since Title 42 has been lifted and Title 8 has been enforced last month, the number of migrants encountered has dropped significantly.

ValleyCentral spoke with U.S. Border Patrol and they confirmed their latest statistics show the number of migrant encounters on the Southwest border is down by more than 70 percent.

With Title 8, migrants have to apply for asylum interviews at ports of entry using the CBP One app.

Border Patrol tells us that getting tough with its enforcement is solving a lot of problems.

“It comes with legal consequences. Legal consequences being the following: you can have a criminal history now being into your record; You will be deported back to the country where you’re originally from. And, you know, it’s part of the things we’re been implementing more now since Title 42 is out of the scene now,” explained Andres Garcia of Border Patrol.

ValleyCentral spoke with local community members, including those who work or shop in Hidalgo right next to the international bridge.

They say they have noticed a dramatic change in recent weeks.

”I see less immigrants than in other days, sir. I don’t know if it’s the work that immigration is doing,” said Hidalgo fast-food worker Emanuel Martinez.

“There is more likely people from Haiti waiting to be crossed at the border,” Marta Soto, a Reynosa resident shopping in Hidalgo, said in Spanish.

ValleyCentral also asked whether it’s fewer encounters now that Title 42 has gone away or because Title 8 is being more strictly enforced by Border Patrol.

“The public has that misconception of Title 8 went away due to the fact that Title 42 was in place. When in reality Title 42 was in effect, but Title 8 never went away. It’s always criminal procedures in that instance,” Garcia of Border Patrol said.

With Title 8, those who have been assessed as not having a legitimate credible fear of returning to their home countries are being sent back to Mexico and other countries.