Immigration & BorderIssuesApril Sees Lowest Southern Border Apprehensions in Three Years

Amidst the ongoing coronavirus lockdown, border apprehensions along the U.S.-Mexico border have reached a low not seen in three years.
May 15, 2020
According to the monthly statistics released from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), April southwest border apprehensions declined 50 percent since March resulting in a total of 16,789.

The month marks the lowest number of recorded apprehensions since April 2017, which saw about a thousand fewer cases.

Chart and data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection

The decline in cases is undoubtedly connected to the ongoing coronavirus lockdown, which began statewide in Texas and in some parts of Mexico in the latter part of March.

Likewise, the total number of inadmissible border entries because of both immigration and health emergency laws declined nearly 80 percent since March, dropping from 4,062 to 927.

Under the inadmissible statistics, the number of family units and unaccompanied children plummeted, from 1,178 to 22 and from 248 to 32, respectively. Single adults saw a less sharp decline from 2,596 to 857.

The Texan Tumbler

Both the northern and southern land borders of the United States have been closed to non-essential travel amidst the pandemic.

Acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan said, “The decrease in encounters means that we have less illegal migrants in our custody and that we are better able to manage our short-term holding facilities from a health perspective.”

Some, such as the American Civil Liberties Union and several Democratic elected officials, have criticized the CBP and the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for the purported health risks associated with their border and immigration enforcement policies amidst the COVID-19 outbreak.

Morgan has pointed out that the continued attempts to illegally enter the country during the time of crisis also poses a health risk.

In early May, Morgan said that U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) agents “encountered a Mexican national who after being apprehended, was showing symptoms of COVID-19. During his medical assessment he admitted to being exposed to COVID-19 and his deliberate intentions to illegally enter the US for medical care.”

“[H]e intentionally exposed everyone around him including USBP agents, who were doing their sworn duty to protect the American people. We should all want to prevent this unnecessary spread of the infectious disease and stand in solidarity that border security matters,” said Morgan.

Drug seizures by CBP were also down from March, though not as drastically as the decrease in border apprehensions or inadmissibles.

Excluding the weight of seized drugs classified as “other,” which was unusually high in March,  the total pounds of seized marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and fentanyl declined from 33,741 to 26,762 — a 21 percent decline.


Disclosure: Unlike almost every other media outlet, The Texan is not beholden to any special interests, does not apply for any type of state or federal funding, and relies exclusively on its readers for financial support. If you’d like to become one of the people we’re financially accountable to, click here to subscribe.

Get “KB's Hot Take”

A free bi-weekly commentary on current events by Konni Burton.

Daniel Friend

Daniel Friend is the Marketing and Media Manager for The Texan. After graduating with a double-major in Political Science and Humanities, he wrote for The Texan as a reporter through June 2022. In his spare time, you're likely to find him working on The Testimony of Calvin Lewis, an Abolition of Man-inspired novel and theatrical podcast.