Despite the intense summer heat, thousands of illegal alien minors and families risked their lives to illegally cross the U.S. border with Mexico in August.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials reported this week that the apprehension of Family Unit Aliens (FMUA) and Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) rose by 37 and 20 percent respectively. These numbers represent the fourth straight month of dramatic increases for these two categories of illegal immigration.
In August, Border Patrol agents apprehended 2,994 UACs, up from 2,481 in July (an increase of 20 percent). During that same period, agents arrested 4,645 FMUAs, up from 3,389 in July (an increase of 37 percent).
The Rio Grande Valley Sector in South Texas continues to lead the nine sectors that make up the southwest U.S./Mexico border. Agents in this sector alone arrested 1,296 UACs in August (up from 1,194 in July). FMUA arrests increased from 2,098 in July to 2,815 in August (an increase of 34.18 percent increase).
CBP officials did not offer any explanation for the dramatic increases in apprehensions in a month where a decline in apprehensions is the norm.
After the inauguration of President Donald Trump in January, the apprehension of FMUAs fell from 9,300 in January to a low point of 1,118 in April. Since that time, the number of FMUA apprehensions rose by 315 percent to 4,645.
The apprehension of UACs fell from January’s 4,406 to 996 in April. Since that low point, the numbers steadily increased to 2,994, an increase of 201 percent.
The largest number of FMUAs apprehended this year originated from El Salvador (23,439), home of the hyper-violent MS-13 criminal gang. This is followed by Guatemala (22,750), Honduras (20,990), and Mexico (2,107).
UACs apprehended hailed mostly from Guatemala (13,594), El Salvador (8,850), Mexico (8,056), and Honduras (7,314).
Despite the massive year-to-date numbers of FMUA apprehensions in FY 2016 (68,065) leading up to the presidential election, FMUA apprehensions this fiscal year actually increased by five percent (71,445). UAC apprehension fell by 29 percent when comparing the same periods. (53,993 in FY 2016, 38,495 in FY 2017).
The El Centro, El Paso, Rio Grande Valley, and San Diego Sectors all saw increases in the numbers of FMUA apprehensions. Only the El Centro and El Paso Sectors saw increases in UAC apprehensions in year-to-date comparisons.
Editor’s Note: All charts in this article were obtained from U.S. Customs and Border Protection reports.