The apprehension of Family Unit Aliens (FMUA) along the southern U.S. border by Border Patrol agents increased 109 percent for the first three months of this fiscal year compared to FY 2016. The December apprehensions of FMUAs increased for the sixth consecutive month. It was the largest single month of apprehensions of families crossing from Central America since the surge in June 2014.
Officials with U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported that 16,135 FMUAs were apprehended along the southwest border during the month of December 2016. While this is an increase of only 544 over the November apprehension numbers, it represents the sixth straight month of increases. The number of apprehensions increased from the June 2016 report that indicated 6,627 FMUAs were apprehended. Those numbers increased each month to the end of the fiscal year’s September report of 9,609. Apprehensions jumped dramatically in the first month of this fiscal year (October) to 13,117.
An FMUA is defined by CBP officials as “children who are apprehended with one or more parent or legal guardian.”
The apprehension of Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) dropped slightly from November’s 7,364 to 7,243. The year-to-date numbers for UACs increased by 23 percent over the previous year. A reported 21,321 children have been apprehended during the first three months of FY 2017 compared to 17,304 in the first three months of FY 2016.
Total apprehensions of migrants along the southwest border by Border Patrol agents also dropped slightly. A reported 43,373 migrants were apprehended in December compared to 47,214 in November. For the first three months of FY 2017, total apprehensions were 136,670, CBP officials reported. This first quarter result represents about 33 percent of the total number of apprehensions for all of FY 2016–408,870.