Immigration & BorderIssuesBorder Patrol Reports 97,000 Encounters With Illegal Aliens in Texas Sectors in February

There have been almost a million encounters with illegal aliens and unaccompanied minors in the U.S. since the start of the fiscal year.
March 18, 2022
Border agents encountered illegal aliens and unaccompanied minors over 97,000 times in Texas border patrol sectors in February, according to data published on Tuesday by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

The total is about 53 percent more than the approximate 64,000 enforcement encounters that were reported in February of last year.

While the total number of encounters in February was a 9 percent increase from January, it was still less than the number of apprehensions in November and December, which was about 105,000 and 107,000 respectively.

Nationwide, there have been a total of nearly 968,000 enforcement encounters since the beginning of Fiscal Year 2022, according to a CBP press release.

CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus indicated that most of the people taken into custody were expelled under Title 42 statutes that were invoked at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. These laws enable the federal government to rapidly deport people to prevent the spread of communicable disease.

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“CBP’s February Monthly Operational Update reflects the continued economic rebound from the depths of the COVID pandemic, with CBP officers processing more than 2.8 million shipments in legitimate trade valued at more than $236 billion,” Magnus said.

Magnus also stated that CBP is continuing to expand its use of “non-intrusive inspection technology and other strategies” to bust drug traffickers.

CBP continues to emphasize that there has been an increase in the number of individuals who have been arrested after making multiple attempts to breach the southern border. The agency attributed the increase to the “large number of expulsions during the pandemic.”

There were almost 117,000 “unique individuals encountered” nationwide in February, which is a 2 percent increase from January. There were a total of nearly 165,000 enforcement encounters with these individuals along the southern border.

The agency noted that the rate of illegal immigrants who crossed unlawfully multiple times averaged 14 percent from Fiscal Year 2014 to Fiscal Year 2019. In contrast, 30 percent of the illegal aliens arrested in the U.S. last month had at least one previous encounter.

On average, there were 520 unaccompanied children in CBP’s custody in February, compared to 295 per day in January. This occurred with a 37 percent increase in the number of unaccompanied minors apprehended nationwide, per CBP.

Border guards have also completed almost 7,000 search and rescue efforts this Fiscal Year.

According to a statistical breakdown that is current as of March 3, there was a 9 percent overall increase in encounters in Texas border patrol sectors in February, including a 15 percent increase in single adults arrested. However, there was a 20 percent drop in the number of family unit arrests.

Reflecting the national figure, there was also a 37 percent increase in arrests of unaccompanied minors in Texas.

On April 26, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral argument in a case centering on the Biden administration’s attempt to end the Migrant Protection Protocols, the Trump-era program that required many ostensible asylum seekers to remain in Mexico while their cases were pending.

The number of enforcement encounters by CBP reflects only those who were caught. In addition, those who were not expelled under Title 42 could still be in the country. In fact, the Biden administration has allowed illegal aliens to use their arrest warrants as a form of identification at airports.

Using Title 42, CBP slated for deportation two-thirds of the single adults apprehended nationwide and 29 percent of those who were part of a family unit. 

While the Biden administration usually does not deport unaccompanied children under Title 42, the number of kids taken into custody is a small number compared to single adults. In Texas sectors, border guards arrested about 73,000 single adults and approximately 9,000 unaccompanied children. There were over 15,000 arrested who were part of a family unit.

Earlier this month, federal Judge Mark Pittman ordered the Biden administration to stop exempting unaccompanied minors from deportation under Title 42. In response, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a new order exempting unaccompanied minors hoping to satisfy Pittman’s ruling.


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Hayden Sparks

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."