FederalImmigration & BorderIssuesCustoms and Border Protection Reports a Drop in Border Arrests in October

The number of border apprehensions decreased for a third month in a row in October.
November 19, 2021
Apprehensions of illegal aliens in the southwestern United States remain high but are declining, according to data published this week by United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

Fiscal Year 2021 saw more illegal alien arrests than ever, but October’s numbers seem to indicate that the border crisis could be subsiding from a statistical standpoint. CBP reported 164,303 individuals were taken into custody last month in the southwestern United States overall, as compared to 192,001 in September.

In a press release on Monday, CBP highlighted that this is the third month in a row that border arrests have decreased. The agency also noted that many of the enforcement encounters are with individuals who have prior encounters. There were 117,260 “unique individuals” encountered in the southwestern United States last month, according to CBP.

According to a sector-by-sector breakdown that is current as of November 3, last month there were about 98,474 enforcement encounters in the Texas border patrol sectors — Big Bend, Del Rio, El Paso, Laredo, and Rio Grande. This is an approximate 23 percent decrease from September of this year.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) confronted Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas at a congressional hearing earlier this week, saying that he “broke” the immigration system.

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The number of apprehensions does not include illegal aliens who evaded border agents. In response to a question from Cruz, the secretary could not provide an estimate of the number of “got-aways” there has been this calendar year.

Mayorkas testified that about 125,000 unaccompanied children have been placed in the custody of the United States Department of Health and Human Services through October 31.

Cruz also pressed Mayorkas on the United States Department of Homeland Security’s efforts to bring back the remain in Mexico policy after a federal judge ordered the department to do so earlier this year, a decision that was effectively affirmed by the United States Supreme Court.

“What would you say to the judge if the judge was asking why you should not be held in contempt and incarcerated for defying a federal court order?” Cruz asked.

“It is because we are implementing the court’s order in good faith, we are working with Mexico, it requires a bilateral relationship and agreement, and I should also add…” Mayorkas said before Cruz interjected to ask if the Biden administration had signaled to the Mexican government to “resist” the reimplementation.

Mayorkas replied, “No, and I should also indicate to you, senator, that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), under the sex offenders operation known as SOAR apprehended 495 individuals between June 4 and September 1 who committed sex offenses and we’re very focused on public safety.”


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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."