While media focused on a few hundred “caravan migrants” in April, the number of apprehensions of people illegally crossing the U.S. southwest border with Mexico continued to increase for the fourth straight month. Following a spike in March, the number of apprehensions increased in April by nearly three percent.
Border Patrol agents arrested 38,234 illegal immigrants who crossed the border between ports of entry in April. This is up from 37,383 in March, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Southwest Border Migration Report issued on Thursday. While this represents an increase of just under three percent from March, it is a 43 percent increase over April 2017.
Apprehensions of Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) and Family Unit Aliens (FMUA) increased as well.
In March, Border Patrol agents arrested 4,153 UAC. In April, that number increased to 4,314, the report states. FMUA apprehensions rose slightly from 8,873 in March to 9,647 in April.
During the first seven months of Fiscal Year 2018, agents arrested 211,824 along the southwest border between ports of entry. In FY 2017, agents arrested 303,916 for the entire year.
The Rio Grande Valley Sector (RGV) in south Texas remains the hotspot for border apprehensions. Of the 26,001 UAC arrested so far in FY 2018, 11,974 were arrested in the RGV Sector. This is down from 18,305 during the same period in FY 2107.
The same is true of FMUA apprehensions. Fiscal Year 2018 year-to-date arrests totaled 49,622. A reported 30,123 of those entered the U.S. in the RGV Sector. This is also down from 39,939 in the same period for FY 2017.
The largest number of UAC entering the U.S. illegally came from Guatemala (12,459). Mexico sent 6,151 minors to the U.S. Border while Honduras and El Salvador followed with 4,624 and 2,090 respectively. The largest number of FMUAs apprehended came from also came from Guatemala (25,163). Honduras and El Salvador followed closely with 16,814 and 5,974 respectively. Mexico trailed with only 1,275.
CBP officials define FMUA as “the number of individuals (either a child under 18 years old, parent or legal guardian) apprehended with a family member by the U.S. Border Patrol.”