As the record-breaking Fiscal Year 2022 for migrant apprehensions along the southwest border ended last week, a subset of those with criminal convictions also rose significantly compared to prior years. Although the criminal arrests constitute a minority, their numbers have increased nearly 350 percent between 2020 and 2022.
According to Customs and Border Protection (CBP), arrests by Border Patrol agents of migrants with prior criminal convictions rose from 2,438 in 2020 to 10,778 in 2022. The total for the year will be finalized and later this month.
A source within CBP, not authorized to speak to the media, told Breitbart Texas the count reflects migrants who have prior criminal convictions in the United States. The source says access to foreign criminal databases are limited and time constraints during post-arrest preclude efforts to check violations of foreign laws.
In most cases, the source says access by the Border Patrol to databases in the more than 150 home countries of migrants crossing the border is non-existent. The source says the increase in encounters of migrants with some of the most violent offenses in their background is staggering.
According to CBP, the number of migrants who have criminal convictions for Homicide and Manslaughter rose from 3 encounters in 2020 to more than 60 in 2022. More than 120 migrants with homicide or manslaughter convictions have been encountered since January 2021 — compared to 11 during the Trump era.
As recently as September 13, Border Patrol agents in Uvalde, Texas, one migrant had previously been convicted for a murder in Florida in 1996.
In the Border Patrol’s Tucson Sector, nine migrants listed as registered sex offenders were arrested crossing in September. These arrests will add to 323 migrants in 2022 with prior criminal histories involving sexual offenses. The nine migrants arrested in Tucson Sector had convictions in Washington, Iowa, Missouri, California, Connecticut, and Washington, D.C.
More than 800 migrants with existing convictions for sexual offenses have been encountered by the Border Patrol since President Biden took office, compared to 431 from the Trump period.
According to CBP, migrants arrested by the Border Patrol with criminal convictions for illegal weapons possession, transport, or trafficking rose from 49 in 2020 to 282 in 2022. Arrests of migrants with convictions for illegal drug possession or trafficking rose from 386 in 2020 to 2,005 in 2022.
Those migrants arrested with serious criminal convictions in their past can face hefty sentences under existing federal law for the crime of re-entry after formal removal. According to the Department of Justice, the statutory maximum penalty for re-entry is a fine, imprisonment for not more than 2 years, or both. However, a migrant whose removal was based on a criminal conviction of a crime considered an aggravated felony, such as homicide or rape, the maximum term of imprisonment is 20 years.
The rise in migrants with criminal convictions is not surprising, considering the increase in overall migrant apprehensions. Migrant apprehensions by the Border Patrol have risen from 400,651 annually in 2019 to 2.2 million in 2022. One source within CBP who agreed to speak with Breitbart Texas says more than 600,000 migrants eluded apprehension due to the overwhelming increase in cross border migrant traffic.
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.