Immigration & BorderIssuesMarch Border Statistics Show Steady Decline in Apprehensions

Southern border apprehensions have declined slightly amidst the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, though Border Patrol agents apprehended 30,000 and continue to combat drug smuggling.
April 21, 2020
Apprehensions and inadmissible entries along the U.S.-Mexico border showed a steady decline of 7 percent from February’s numbers, according to the latest data from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Data and chart from U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.

However, considering the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and societal lockdown, the decline has not been too drastic.

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) performed 29,953 apprehensions and 3,984 people attempting to cross at ports of entry were deemed inadmissible, for a total of 33,937 cases.

The total drop of 2,577 since the previous month comes mostly from inadmissible entries — which declined by 2,456 from February.

According to DHS, inadmissible entries include individuals “seeking lawful admission into the United States but are determined to be inadmissible, individuals presenting themselves to seek humanitarian protection under our laws, and individuals who withdraw an application for admission and return to their countries of origin within a short timeframe.”

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The March 2020 data is different from previous statistics because it includes entries denied both because of standard immigration laws (Title 8) and restrictions under another law (Title 42) currently active to limit people’s movement and reduce coronavirus transmissions.

In March, 6,375 individuals were “expelled to the country of last transit or home country in the interest of public health” under Title 42, while the other 27,562 individuals were not allowed into the country under Title 8.

While apprehensions tend to rise during the spring months — and were headed ever so slightly in that direction with February’s one percent increase over January — the current decline bucks that trend.

The current numbers also continue the mostly downward trend since cases peaked last May to 144,116.

Mark Morgan, the acting commissioner of CBP, noted that in May of last year they had over 20,000 people in their custody, while now they have less than 100.

CBP officers continue to combat high amounts of drug smuggling as well, including the seizure of a shipment of meth worth almost $37 million that was “hidden within a commercial shipment of tomatoes at Laredo’s Colombia-Solidarity Bridge.”

“Smugglers are not taking a day off during this pandemic, and neither is CBP,” said Morgan.


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Daniel Friend

Daniel Friend is a reporter for The Texan. He participated in a Great Books program at Azusa Pacific University and graduated in 2019 with a degree in Political Science. He has studied C.S. Lewis’s science fiction trilogy and in his spare time you might find him writing his own novel partly inspired by the series.