Border Apprehensions Jump to Highest Level Since Year 2000

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U.S. Border Patrol agents apprehended nearly 208,000 migrants during the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2021 who illegally crossed the southwest border between ports of entry. This is the highest first-quarter figure since Fiscal Year 2000.

Border Patrol agents assigned to the nine southwest border sectors apprehended 207,968 migrants who illegally crossed the border during the first three months of this fiscal year, according to the Southwest Land Border Encounters report published by U.S. Customs and Border Protection Thursday evening. Historic reports indicate this is the largest first-quarter apprehension rate since the Clinton administration in FY2000.

“We’re already seeing the negative impacts of the proposed policy changes,” U.S. Customs and Border Protection Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan said in a press conference on January 5. The commissioner said the Mexican cartels and other human smugglers are spreading the word to migrants that our borders will be open to them.

“In this case, they’re correct,” Morgan said. “They’re right — it’s not just the perception.”

Apprehensions in December 2020 reached 70,630 — a jump from 32,853 in December 2019 (a 115 percent increase). This also marks the highest number of December apprehensions since FY2000.

During the first quarter of this fiscal year, Border Patrol agents expelled 183,434 of the 207,968 migrants under Title 42 Coronavirus protection protocols established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CBP reports indicate. Commissioner Morgan previously told Breitbart News that most of these expulsions occur within two hours of their arrest to prevent further exposure to Border Patrol agents, CBP employees, and the American public.

During the January 5 press conference, Morgan said these Q1 numbers would be another immigration crisis but for the policies put in place by the Trump Administration. Those policies include the Remain in Mexico Program and the Title 42 CDC programs that allow the near-immediate return to Mexico of apprehended migrants.

“You take that ability away and that 2,500 [arrivals] a day becomes a crisis overnight,” Morgan told reporters. “That’s what concerns us.”

The demographics of the migrants being apprehended are reported to be overwhelmingly single adults in Fiscal Year 2020 and the first quarter of FY21. This is a shift from FY19 when Family Unit Aliens and Unaccompanied Minors dominate the apprehension figures.

During the first quarter, agents apprehended 180,633 single adults (two-thirds of total apprehensions for the quarter). This represents a 178 percent increase when compared to the same period one year ago (65,085).

The Rio Grande Valley Sector continues to be the busiest of the nine southwest border sectors. This is followed by the Tucson and El Paso Sectors.