On Monday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published its August operational update, which indicated there were about 181,000 encounters with illegal aliens by agents along the southwest border overall and 117,000 in the Big Bend, Del Rio, El Paso, Laredo, and Rio Grande Valley border patrol sectors.
CBP stated that through the end of August there had been almost 2.5 million encounters nationwide and nearly 2.2 million along the southwest border. There were 1.96 million total enforcement actions reported in Fiscal Year 2021.
In July, there were just over 118,000 arrests in Texas sectors and almost 182,000 nationwide. The border statistics for August are notable due to the record-setting two million encounters reported before the end of the fiscal year.
Including encounters at offices of field operations, there were just under 204,000 encounters along the southern border. September’s operational update will be the last report of encounters before the start of Fiscal Year 2023.
Border agents often apprehend individuals who have crossed illegally and have been caught multiple times. About 158,000 “unique individuals” were encountered last month, per CBP.
Due to a federal judge’s order, expulsions pursuant to former President Trump’s public health order under Title 42 have continued. The agency reported 71,000 of the encounters along the southwest border ended in a Title 42 expulsion in August.
In the operational update, CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus highlighted the source of many of the illegal immigrants who crossed in August.
“Failing communist regimes in Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Cuba are driving a new wave of migration across the Western Hemisphere, including the recent increase in encounters at the southwest U.S. border,” Magnus said.
The commissioner added that “the number of migrants entering from Mexico and northern Central America has decreased for the third consecutive month, as the Biden-Harris Administration works with our partners in the region to address the root causes of migration, facilitate repatriation, and take thousands of smugglers off the streets.”
Vice President Kamala Harris, who is in charge of border policy for the Biden administration, commented earlier this month that she believes the border is secure.
The operational update stated that over 55,000 of the illegal immigrants arrested were from Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Cuba, while nearly 57,000 of them were from Mexico and northern Central America.
In Midland, Gov. Greg Abbott signed an executive order on Wednesday designating members of criminal cartels and gangs as terrorists if they traffic fentanyl in Texas. He linked the increasing problem of fentanyl trafficking to illegal immigration and noted that most of the “subcomponents” of fentanyl are produced in China and enter the U.S. via Mexican cartels.
On Sunday, Congressman Troy Nehls (R-TX-22) tweeted, “DHS confirms that Venezuela empties prisons and sends violent criminals to our southern border. President Trump warned us about this years ago.”
Nehls’ communications director confirmed to The Texan on Monday that the congressman was referring to a report published by Breitbart that cited an anonymous source in CBP.
CBP did not respond to a request to confirm the information in the Breitbart report by the time of publication.
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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."