In total, 1.4 million of the arrests by border agents last fiscal year occurred in the Big Bend, Del Rio, El Paso, Laredo, and Rio Grande Valley sectors. As for enforcement actions at ports of entry, 81,313 of the encounters occurred through the El Paso and Laredo field offices, per CBP statistics current as of October 14. Most of the arrests in Texas sectors, 976,212, were single adults.
To place those numbers in perspective, the population of Dallas is 1.3 million and Houston is 2.3 million.
There was a 16 percent increase in border arrests in Texas sectors last month, from 117,476 apprehensions in August to 136,314 in September. In September 2021, there were 127,636 arrests.
CBP indicated that 33 percent of the encounters along the southern border in September ended with an expulsion via the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s public health order under Title 42, which has become a legal remnant of the COVID-19 pandemic. Only 11 percent of the family units encountered were expelled under Title 42, while 42 percent of the single adults were expelled pursuant to the order.
The agency emphasized that many of the individuals encountered have illegally crossed the border multiple times in the past year. The Biden administration partially ascribes the increase in repeated encounters to the Title 42 policy, which allowed rapid expulsions without the processes of the regular immigration laws contained in Title 8.
CBP indicated in terms of unique encounters — apprehensions of illegal aliens without a previous enforcement action in the previous 12 months — 42 percent of those encountered nationwide last month were Venezuelan. 32 percent of the unique encounters were from Mexico and countries in northern Central America.
There were reportedly at least 599,000 known “gotaways” during FY 2022. That includes illegal aliens detected but not arrested by border patrol officers. It does not include those who evaded both arrest and detection.
CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus commented on the number of Venezuelan illegal aliens breaching the southern border.
“While failing regimes in Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua continued to drive a new wave of migration across the western Hemisphere, the number of Venezuelans arriving at the southern border decreased sharply nearly every day since we launched additional joint actions with Mexico to reduce irregular migration and create a more fair, orderly and safe process for people fleeing the humanitarian and economic crisis in their country,” Magnus said.
“Over the past week, the number of Venezuelans attempting to enter the country fell more than 80 percent compared to the week prior to the launch of the joint enforcement actions. While this early data is not reflected in the latest report, it confirms what we’ve said all along: when there is a lawful and orderly way to enter the country, individuals will be less likely to put their lives in the hands of smugglers and try to cross the border unlawfully.”
Of course, Magnus was referencing a drop in illegal crossings by Venezuelans that occurred during October, which is not part of the September operational update or Fiscal Year 2022.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas recently pointed the finger at Republicans for claiming that the border is “open” under the Biden administration. The secretary contended that Republicans, not Biden, are fueling the idea that the border is not secure.
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Hayden Sparks is a senior reporter for The Texan and a lifelong resident of the Lone Star State. He has coached competitive speech and debate and has been involved in politics since a young age. One of Hayden's favorite quotes is by Sam Houston: "Texas has yet to learn submission to any oppression, come from what source it may."