Migrant Apprehensions in December Jump 139 Percent over Prior Year

Border Patrol agents apprehend nearly 1,000 migrants per day near the Texas border with Mexico. (U.S. Border Patrol/Del Rio Sector)
U.S. Border Patrol/Del Rio Sector

The apprehension of migrants in December along the southwest border with Mexico jumped for the second straight month to 170,186, federal officials reported on Monday. This represents an increase of more than 139 percent over the same month in 2021.

Border Patrol agents apprehended more than 170,000 migrants who illegally crossed the border between ports of entry in December, according to the Southwest Land Border Encounters report. In December 2021, including the last full month of the Trump administration, agents apprehended 71,141 migrants.

Agents in the Rio Grande Valley Sector continued to lead the nation in apprehensions with 43,844 of the 170,186 total apprehensions (25 percent). This was an increase of nearly 155 percent over the previous year.

The Del Rio Sector experienced an alarming increase in apprehensions as agents took 33,205 migrants into custody. This is up from 9,196 one year earlier — a 261 percent increase. The Del Rio Sector jumped from the fourth busiest one year ago to the second busiest this year.

The Yuma Sector experienced the largest rate of growth with the apprehension of 29,469 migrants in December. This is up from only 1,203 one year earlier — an increase of 2,349 percent. This moved the Yuma Sector to the number three spot in terms of migrant apprehensions.

Of the more than 170,000 migrants apprehended in December, officials classified 109,131 as single adults. Migrant families accounted for 43,312 of the apprehensions (up 1,061 percent over the prior year) while unaccompanied children accounted for 11.743.

In a written statement, CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus failed to mention December’s 139 percent increase in border apprehensions over the prior year. In fact, his quote ignored illegal immigration all together and instead focused on the agency’s other missions.

Commissioner Magnus stated:

The dedicated men and women at CBP are committed to ensuring dangerous drugs and counterfeit products are off the streets, our communities are kept safe, and our borders are secured. Equally important to our mission is facilitating lawful trade and travel that is critical to the sustained growth of the U.S. economy. In December, CBP collected more than $9 billion in estimated duties, and also saw a dramatic increase in the confiscation of fake products. In one port of entry alone, CBP officers reported the seizure of more than $30 million of counterfeit goods last month. Other key metrics show an uptick as well. There was a staggering $3.31 billion worth of counterfeit goods seized in FY21 – a 153 percent increase from FY20; heroin seizures increased by 113 percent in December. These seizures demonstrate that our intelligence and operational abilities are disrupting criminal enterprises and safeguarding legitimate commerce. We will continue to strengthen these capabilities and meet these challenges and future ones with the same determination and resolve.

After the commissioner’s remarks, CBP officials offered the following:

  • The large number of expulsions during the pandemic has contributed to a higher-than-usual number of migrants making multiple border crossing attempts, which means that total encounters somewhat overstate the number of unique individuals arriving at the border.
  • CBP encountered an average of 5,769 individuals a day at the Southwest border in December 2021, a slight decrease from the November 2021 daily average.
  • The number of unique individuals encountered in December 2021 was 135,040, a 5 percent increase in the number of unique individuals encountered the prior month.
  • In total, there were 178,840 encounters along the Southwest land border in December, a 2 percent increase compared to November. Of those, 23 percent involved individuals who had at least one prior encounter in the previous 12 months, compared to an average one-year re-encounter rate of 14 percent for FY2014-2019.
  • Two-thirds (64 percent) of encounters were single adults, with 114,993 encounters in December, a 4 percent decrease compared to November.
  • 78,589 encounters, 44 percent of the total, were processed for expulsion under Title 42. 100,251 encounters were processed under Title 8.
    • 68,347 encounters involving single adults (59 percent of all single adult encounters) were processed for expulsion under Title 42, with 46,646 processed under Title 8.
    • 10,005 encounters involving family unit individuals (19 percent of all family unit individuals) were processed for expulsion under Title 42, with 41,619 processed under Title 8.

Unaccompanied Children
• Encounters of unaccompanied children decreased 14 percent, with 11,921 encounters in December compared with 13,937 in November. In December, the average number of unaccompanied children in CBP custody was 352 per day, compared with an average of 926 per day in November.

Family Unit individuals
• Encounters of family unit individuals increased by 15 percent from 45,062 in November to 51,624 in December—which is 40 percent decrease from the peak of 86,631 in August 2021.

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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