Statistics released from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) show the total number of apprehensions on the southern border trending upward again after a significant low in April amidst the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown.
Save for a slight increase in February, the total number of apprehensions and inadmissible entries had been steadily declining since a record high in May 2019, but saw a dramatic decrease between March and April of this year — from 34,298 to 16,986.
The sharp downward trend reversed in May, which saw an increase in encounters by 27 percent back up to 23,118.
Single adults have accounted for 90 percent of the increase, while encounters with families and children have remained low.
Acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan noted that there has been a major demographic shift since last year.
“Most illegal alien encounters between ports of entry are now single adult men from Mexico, whereas last year the majority of illegal aliens encountered were families from the Northern Triangle,” said Morgan.
The Northern Triangle includes the Central American countries of Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador.
Morgan said that in May of last year, 72 percent of enforcement encounters along the southern border were with people traveling from the Northern Triangle, while 82 percent of encounters this year were with Mexican nationals.
Since March 21, non-essential travel across the border has been limited and CBP has immediately returned illegal immigrants to Mexico instead of detaining them in holding facilities.
Those current measures will remain in place until June 22 unless they are extended by officials again.
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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.