Migrant Apprehensions at Border Jump 16 Percent in September

Nogales Station Border Patrol agents apprehend 21 migrants found in a human smuggling stash house near the Arizona border. (Photo: U.S. Border Patrol/Tucson Sector)
File Photo: U.S. Border Patrol/Tucson Sector

The apprehension of migrants who illegally cross the border between ports of entry jumped again. The nearly 55,000 migrants arrested in September marks the fifth-straight month of increased apprehensions. However, apprehensions for the year fell by 53 percent from the previous year’s total.

U.S. Border Patrol agents apprehended 54,771 migrants in September who illegally crossed the border between ports of entry, according to the FY202o year-end Southwest Border Migration Report released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials on Wednesday. This represents an increase of nearly 16 percent from the previous month and a 238 percent increase from the year’s low point in March.

Overall, Border Patrol agents arrested 400,651 migrants during all of FY2020 which ended on September 30. While this is down from the FY2019 apprehension total of 851,508, it still places the arrest numbers in the ballpark of FY15–FY18.

CBP Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan said the decrease in numbers from FY19 is due in large part to plans and programs put in place by the Trump Administrations. These programs include the building on 360 miles of new border wall systems and programs put in place with Mexico and the Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.

Before the pandemic, the Migrant Protection Protocol (MPP) put in place by the Trump Administration and Mexico’s creation of a National Guard to focus on illegal immigration contributed to apprehension numbers falling from a high of 92,833 in March 2019 to 29,205 in January 2020 — a decrease of nearly 70 percent.

Morgan said the mission of Border Patrol shifted from border security as a law enforcement perspective to a public health perspective. Under Title 42 Coronavirus protection protocols put in place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 90 percent of migrants apprehended between ports of entry are returned to Mexico or Canada (depending on crossing point) within two hours.

Morgan also said the demographics of the migrants changed once the Catch and Release programs ended. He cited a shift from mostly family units illegally crossing the border (primarily from Norther Triangle countries) to what is now mostly single adults (primarily from Mexico).

Of the more than 400,000 migrants apprehended by Border Patrol in FY20, 317,864 were single adults, the CBP report indicates.

“Single adult males from Mexico accounted for 56 percent of migrants encountered this year, a significant change from FY19, when 64 percent of the encounters were individuals from the Northern Triangle countries,” CBP officials said in a written statement. “Overall, single adults accounted for 77 percent of the total encounters this year, compared to 38 percent last year.”

Morgan said the primary driver of these migrants is the struggling economies of Mexico and the Northern Triangle countries, due in part to the pandemic.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior news contributor for the Breitbart Texas-Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s What’s Your Point? Sunday-morning talk show. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.


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