The apprehension of illegal immigrants along the southwest border with Mexico jumped 160 percent in May 2018 compared to the previous year. May apprehensions also increased by 1.9 percent over April 2018. The numbers increased each month this calendar year.
Border Patrol agents apprehended 40,344 illegal immigrants between the ports of entry along the southwest border with Mexico — up from 14,535 in May 2017. Those arrested include 9,485 Family Unit Aliens (FMUA) and 6,405 Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC), according to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Southwest Border Migration Report released Wednesday evening.
“As the May numbers indicate, we are seeing family units try to illegally cross our borders at staggering rates, Department of Homeland Security Press Secretary Tyler Q. Houlton said in a written statement. “In May 2018, the number of illegal family units trying to cross the border increased by 435 percent in comparison to May 2017 – and the number of unaccompanied alien children apprehended illegally crossing the border increased by 329 percent in May 2018 in comparison to May 2017.”
The only bright spot in the report is that following the news that the Trump Administration is separating families who illegally cross the border, the number of FMUA apprehensions dropped — slightly. Agents arrested 9,485 FMUAs in May. This is down from 9,653 in April, officials stated. This represents a decrease of only 168 FMUAs but it marked a reversal in a trend of increasing numbers since February.
In contrast, the apprehension of unaccompanied minors jumped by nearly 50 percent in May over the previous month. Agents apprehended 4,302 UACs in April. In May, that number jumped to 6,405 — the highest number this fiscal year.
In response to the massively increasing numbers of FMUAs apprehended at the border this fiscal year (59,113 in total), federal officials began removing children from the adults they crossed the border with. White House officials blamed the failure of Democrats to allow border security and immigration reform to move forward, Breitbart News reported:
The Administration has repeatedly advocated for the closure to federal immigration loopholes that would allow for the swift, safe, and expeditious return of illegal alien minors, adults, and families at the southern border. However, the Democratic Party has repeatedly opposed these loophole closures in favor of preserving “catch-and-release” policies that make a mockery of national sovereignty. The Administration is hopeful that the Democratic Party will abandon its position of open borders and will support the Administration’s common-sense reforms to close catch-and-release loopholes, so all illegal aliens caught at the border can be returned home expeditiously.
Furthermore, Democrat policies preserving catastrophic asylum loopholes have led to a 600,000 caseload backlog that swamps out legitimate asylum seekers while overwhelming the entire U.S. immigration system and perpetuating a hemispheric migration crisis at enormous cost to U.S. taxpayers and American lives.
The Yuma Sector saw a huge spike in May of UACs and FMUAs apprehended after illegally crossing the border from Mexico. Both categories jumped by more than 110 percent over the previous month.
The Rio Grande Valley Sector saw a decrease of 22 percent and 10 percent respectively. However, the Rio Grande Valley Sector still saw the highest numbers of UAC and FMUA apprehensions. Agents arrested 14,846 unaccompanied minors thus far in FY 2018 — down from 18,974 in FY 2017 year-to-date numbers. At the same time, Family Unit Alien apprehensions dropped from 40,912 in FY 2017 numbers to 36,745 during the same period in FY 2018.
“No one expects to reverse years of political inaction overnight or in a month,” Houlton said. “It is also clear change will take more than Administration action alone. Congress must act to end legal loopholes that have left us with policies that serve as tremendous magnets for illegal immigration. Smugglers, human traffickers, and nefarious actors know our loopholes well and accordingly exploit them. The refusal by members of Congress to close catch-and-release loopholes have prevented the Administration from controlling the border.”
“These numbers show that while the Trump administration is restoring the rule of law, it will take a sustained effort and continuous commitment of resources over many months to disrupt cartels, smugglers, and nefarious actors,” the DHS Press Secretary stated. “We are taking action and will be referring and then prosecuting 100 percent of illegal border crossers, we are building the first new border wall in a decade, and we have deployed the National Guard to the border.”