Most Illegal Immigrants Caught at Border Non-Mexican and Adult

In 2014, for the first time ever, U.S. Border Patrol records show that more non-Mexicans than Mexicans were apprehended at the border.

This information comes from a Pew Research Center study of more than sixty years of Border Patrol data. During Fiscal Year 2014 (October 1, 2013 through September 30, 2014), about 229,000 Mexicans and about 257,000 non-Mexicans were apprehended illegally crossing the border. Overall, the total number of illegal immigrants was up 16 percent over the previous year.

The Pew Research analysis highlighted several other interesting points:

  • Apprehensions of Mexican immigrants peaked in 2000, at 1.6 million.
  • This past year’s apprehensions of Mexican immigrants is the lowest on record since 1970, when it was 219,000. Non-Mexican apprehensions that year totaled only 12,000.
  • Mexicans remain the majority (52 percent) of the U.S. illegal immigrant population, with an estimated 5.9 million Mexicans currently illegally in the country.
  • Mexicans who are in the U.S. illegally are staying longer. In 2003, they stayed a median of eight years, and in 2013, that number rose to a median of thirteen years.
  • From 2009 to 2012, the number of illegal immigrants from Central America and Asia increased by 100,o00 from each continent.
  • Polling shows an increasing number of Americans who put a greater emphasis on border security. In February 2013, 25 percent of American adults polled said that the priority should be on border security and tougher enforcement of immigration laws versus creating a pathway to citizenship. In August 2014, that number rose to 33 percent.

The Vox.com coverage of the Pew Research report curiously claims that “[t]he US government has aggressively responded to the migrant crisis,” but as Breitbart Texas reported, the majority of the illegal immigrants from this year’s border surge were not detained and subsequently failed to show up to their required immigration hearings, with over 90 percent of them receiving deportation orders “in absentia” because they could not be located. Furthermore, there are signs that the number of families and unaccompanied minors illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border is increasing once again.

Additional noteworthy information in the Border Patrol reports from this past year includes how, despite the fact that the news about unaccompanied children dominated the summer news cycle, adults were actually the vast majority of the illegal immigration problem. Almost 78 percent of those apprehended in all the Southwest Border Sectors were adults (371,985 adults, 107,386 juveniles, and 479,371 total apprehended). Unaccompanied juveniles totaled 68,541, only about 14 percent of the total number of apprehensions.

The Southwest Border Sectors also accounted for, by far, the  majority of drugs, currency, and firearms seized during the past fiscal year. Border Patrol agents seized 1,920,411 pounds of marijuana, 4,443 pounds of cocaine, 9,205 pounds of heroin, and 3,772 pounds of methamphetamine. They also seized $7,351,640 in currency, 475 firearms, and 63,493 rounds of ammunition.

Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter @rumpfshaker.


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