U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials report the increase in the number of large group border crossings led to the apprehension of nearly 9,000 in fiscal year 2019 to date.
CBP officials reported on Thursday that 8,797 migrants, mostly families and minors from Guatemala, crossed the border in 53 large groups since October 1, 2o18. CBP defines a large group as more than 100 migrants. Of that number, 7,757 are Family Unit Aliens (FMUA) and Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) from Guatemala.
The report states that 84.6 percent of the large groups are FMUA migrants, while 11.5 percent are UACs. Nearly all (99.6 percent) of the large group migrant crossings came from the Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, officials stated.
Compared to the same period in Fiscal Year 2018, FMUA apprehensions are up by 280 percent, the report continued. “Fiscal Year 2018 was a record year and this year will surpass that if the current trend continues without any legislative fixes,” CBP officials stated.
The massive increase of migrant families and minors crossing the border created a crisis for CBP officials to contend with. One of those is a crisis regarding medical treatment for this large number of migrant families and children.
- USBP transported 2,224 subjects (5.3% of all southwest border arrests for the same period) to local hospitals since December 22, 2018.
- USBP has spent a total of 19,299 hours providing various levels of support to these hospital visits. This includes transportation to and from, and over watch for each person/family at the hospital. This means there are less agents performing border security duties.
Officials cited an example from January 15 when Border Patrol agents arrested a group of 247 migrants. At least 50 of these migrants required immediate medical attention from a hospital. Transporting these 50 migrants to a hospital for evaluation and treatment. These migrants crossed in an extremely remote area of the New Mexico border region. Transporting these migrants to hospitals “utilized nearly all available agents, severely limiting their ability to process the large group or respond to other border security duties.”
This resulted in increased time in custody, delaying custody transfers, and slowing down Border Patrol agents’ ability to other types of illicit border crossings. Cartel connected smugglers now appear to be taking advantage of this to smuggle large quantities of drugs across unattended border areas.
“Smugglers and traffickers then use these large groups as “cover” while USBP resources are utilized to arrest and detention-related duties associated with the large groups,” officials stated. The report cites examples of this behavior:
- On January 16, 2018, USBP apprehended a group of 253 illegal aliens and in a separate event seized approximately 265 lbs of marijuana.
- On January 17, 2018, USBP agents seized 705 lbs of Cocaine. On the same day, USBP agents apprehended a large group of 174.
- On January 18, 2018, USBP apprehended a group of 116 and in a separate event seized approximately 1,087 lbs of marijuana.
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for the Breitbart Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Face