EAGLE PASS, Texas — With less than 48 hours left in Fiscal Year 2021, the Border Patrol has already surpassed the total number of migrant apprehensions made in any year along the southwest border since the agency’s inception in 1924. A source within Customs and Border Protection notes the unofficial apprehension record shows more than 1,646,000 for the year as of Wednesday.
The total reflects arrests made within the nine southwest Border Patrol Sectors from California to Texas. According to CBP, the previous record stood since 2000 when 1,643,679 were arrested.
The source says the final apprehension number will increase by at least 10,000 when the fiscal year officially closes on September 30 and is reported near mid-October.
The total, according to the source, does not include more than 2,000 migrants arrested by the Border Patrol along the northern and coastal borders of the United States. The number also does not include migrant apprehensions made by CBP officers at ports of entry.
The source says the northern and coastal Border Patrol sectors show lagging totals compared to the past due to staffing shortages caused by the movement of personnel to the southwest.
In a news interview on Sunday, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas says the increase in apprehensions is nothing new. Mayorkas told Fox News Chris Wallace, “We are certainly seeing a large number here this year, but in 2019, we saw a large number. In 2014, in 2010. This is nothing new,” he says.
The statement contradicts the reality that the total number of migrant apprehensions along the southwest border with Mexico is higher than any recorded yearly apprehension statistic, dating to 1925 when 22,199 migrants were arrested by the Border Patrol–mostly on horseback.
Randy Clark is a 32-year veteran of the United States Border Patrol. Prior to his retirement, he served as the Division Chief for Law Enforcement Operations, directing operations for nine Border Patrol Stations within the Del Rio, Texas, Sector. Follow him on Twitter @RandyClarkBBTX.