EDINBURG, Texas (KVEO) — More than 40,000 people illegally crossed the border and were caught by Border Patrol agents in the month of July alone, Customs and Border Protection Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan said on Thursday.
This same time last year that number was 81,000 people.
Morgan attributes the decrease to Title 42 Expulsions. However, even though data shows a 50% decrease in apprehensions, these numbers are still significantly higher than July 2018, 2017 and 2016. CBP data shows, July 2020 is the third-highest July number apprehensions since 2009.
Morgan says 91% percent of the people captured last month were processed and returned back to Mexico within 2 hours of their arrest under Title 42.
Under this order of Title 42, CBP is prohibiting the entry of certain persons who potentially pose a health risk, either by virtue of being subject to previously announced travel restrictions or because they unlawfully entered the country to bypass health screening measures.
People are now being returned to the country they entered from immediately instead of being held inside a CBP processing facility.
This same time last year there were on average 20,000 people in CBP custody for illegally crossing.
Now, the average is 300 to 400 people according to Morgan.
78% of the people captured along the Southern Border last month were Mexican single adult men looking for jobs, according to Morgan. “They are running and hiding,” Morgan said about the men.
“When they try to illegally cross and then run from United States Border Patrol and those agents have to track them down, they are putting every single person’s life at risk and that agent goes home at night, they are mothers, they are fathers and they go home and now their exposure is increased and it shouldn’t be that way in global pandemic,” said Morgan.
He also adds dangerous smuggling attempts are up, even during the pandemic.
In the month of July, there was a 12% increase in narcotics from this time last year, CBP says.
CBP has seized more than 120,000 fake non-FDA approved COVID-19 test kits.
More than 12,000 fake masks have also been seized, Morgan told reporters on Thursday.
CBP has lost 10 personnel in the line of duty due to COVID-19 and dozens of undocumented immigrants have tested positive for the virus.