After eight consecutive months of decline at the southwestern border, statistics indicate an increase of approximately 1 percent in the total number of apprehensions and inadmissible entries during the month of February.
“For the 9th straight month in a row, we continue to make incredible progress strengthening our Southwest border to address the threats we face, specifically the flow of illegal immigration,” acting Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Mark Morgan said of February’s statistics.
“After 8 months of decline, enforcement actions remained stable in February,” Commissioner Morgan continued.
While border statistics indicate a slight increase in total apprehensions from 36,660 in January to 37,119 in February, this 1.3 percent increase is still far less than the 30 percent increase between January and February of last year.
Narcotics, however, continue to pose a serious threat to border security.
“The threat we face is not just about illegal immigration – it’s much more broad and much more complex. The drugs pouring into our country – at the hands of transnational criminal organizations – are killing our citizens every day,” Commissioner Morgan said.
In February, according to Commissioner Morgan, narcotic “seizures of the 4 major drugs,” including methamphetamine and fentanyl, increased.
Specifically, methamphetamine seizures increased by 30 percent, while fentanyl seizures increased by roughly 75 percent.
Moreover, since the beginning of the fiscal year in October, CBP reports seizing more than 69,000 pounds of methamphetamine.
As the threat of the coronavirus spreading continues to grow, CBP authorities announced their intention to conduct enhanced health screening, as designated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), on individuals entering or attempting to enter the United States from travel restricted countries, such as China and Iran, in addition to other precautionary procedures.
“CBP is prepared for COVID-19… While the risk remains low, we’re taking every available precaution to protect our workforce as their health and safety are our utmost concern,” Commissioner Morgan said regarding the virus.
Earlier this month, Congressman Chip Roy (R-TX-21), joined by five other Texas delegates, penned a letter to the Trump administration expressing concerns about the spread of the coronavirus via the U.S.-Mexico border, describing it as a “liability.”
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.