The apprehension of migrant families who illegally crossed the border from Mexico into the U.S. during Fiscal Year 2019 more than tripled the previous year’s record. Agents apprehended nearly a half-million migrant families during the period ending September 30.
U.S. Border Patrol agents apprehended 473,682 Family Unit Aliens (FMUA) who illegally entered the U.S. between ports of entry during the recently ended Fiscal Year 2019, according to the 2019 Southwest Border Migration Report released on Tuesday. These apprehensions represent an increase of 366,470 (342 percent) over the record number of migrant families apprehended during Fiscal Year 2018.
If all of the migrant families and unaccompanied minors (76,020) were placed into a brand new city in Texas, it would nearly match the population of El Paso. Adding in single adults (301,806) would make this the sixth-largest city in Texas, according to 2018 U.S. Census estimates.
The largest number of migrant family apprehensions occurred in the Rio Grande Valley Sector (211,634). This represented a 234 percent increase in migrant family apprehensions in this sector alone. The largest percentage increase occurred in the Del Rio Sector which experiences an increase of 1,061 percent. The El Paso Sector also experience a nearly 1,000 percent increase in migrant family apprehensions.
The largest number of migrant families apprehended by Border Patrol came to the U.S. from Honduras (188,416). This was followed closely by Guatemalans (185,233). El Salvador trailed with 56,897 and Mexico had the fourth-largest number with 6,004.
CBP Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan told reporters on Tuesday that there has been a recent uptick in the numbers of migrant families apprehended from Brazil and Mexico. He attributed this to a change in tactics by Mexican cartels responding to pressures put in place to curb Central American family migration.
In total, 851,508 migrants illegally crossed the border into the U.S. during the last fiscal year, the report states. This represents an increase of 454,929 over the previous year’s total apprehensions of 396,579 — a 115 percent increase.