At a White House press briefing earlier today, acting U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Mark Morgan announced that the number of apprehensions during the month of October decreased, marking five consecutive months apprehension levels have declined.
With last month’s border statistics revealing a 12-year high in apprehension at the end of Fiscal Year 2019, October kicked off the beginning of the new fiscal year and brought with it a 14 percent decline in apprehensions when compared to September.
With just over 42,000 recorded apprehensions, October statistics fell below that of even September which marked the lowest number of apprehensions throughout the entirety of the previous fiscal year.
After reaching a peak in May of more than 144,000 apprehensions in a single month, the decline from May to October reveals an overall decrease of almost 70 percent.
Describing this decline as “significant,” Morgan attributed the dramatic decrease to President Trump’s policies, regulations, and other immigration initiatives aimed at stemming the flow of illegal immigrants at the southern border.
“The numbers show this administration has and continues to take bold action to address this crisis,” Morgan said.
Morgan also credited the governments of Mexico and Northern Triangle countries, including Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras, with whom the administration has collaborated and forged diplomatic arrangements, like asylum cooperation agreements, in an effort to address the “regional crisis.”
Affecting approximately 55,000 individuals, the Migration Protection Protocols (MPPs) authorize individuals undergoing immigration proceedings to wait in Mexico while their cases are adjudicated. These measures are another way the Trump administration has worked with other countries to institute its immigration and border security initiatives.
Notably, October statistics also revealed a shift in demographics. For the first time in nearly 18 months, Mexico, as opposed to Northern Triangle countries, was listed as a place of origin for the majority of apprehensions and inadmissible entries, according to Morgan.
Additionally, single adults surpassed family unit apprehensions, which saw a notable increase during the last fiscal year.
Morgan also noted the interception of more than 54 thousand pounds of drugs during the month of October, marking an increase of more than 45 percent compared to this time last year.
Methamphetamine and fentanyl seizures specifically proved to be significant, as seizure rates for both increased by more than 90 percent and 84 percent respectively between this October and October 2018.
Morgan also brought attention to the numerous threats cartels pose to both American citizens and migrants, as they continue to profit by way of human smuggling, child exploitation, and drug trafficking practices.
“While we made great progress, I want to remind the American people that there still remains a humanitarian crisis at our southern border, and importantly, a national security crisis along our southwest border as well.”
Sarah McConnell is a reporter for The Texan. Previously, she worked as a Cyber Security Consultant after serving as a Pathways Intern at the Department of Homeland Security – Citizenship and Immigration Services. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Texas A&M as well as her Master of Public Service and Administration degree from the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M. In her free time, Sarah is an avid runner, jazz enthusiast, and lover of all things culinary.