Migrant apprehensions top 1.74M this fiscal year, CBP reports

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A line of migrants were released by DHS officials on Aug. 3, 2021, in McAllen, Texas. The northern Mexican state of Tamaulipas refuses to accept back families with young children. (Sandra Sanchez/Border Report Photo)

McALLEN, Texas (Border Report) — The number of migrants encountered dropped slightly in August from the previous month, but the total number of encounters this fiscal year topped 1.74 million, according to new data released late Wednesday by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Nationwide, CBP reported 230,343 encounters with non-citizens in August. Of those, the total number of migrants encountered by law enforcement on the Southwest border in August was 208,887, down 2% from 212,672 total encounters in July, which was pushed apprehensions to a 20-year high, CBP reports.

So far this fiscal year, which ends this month, Border Patrol agents have encountered 1.47 million migrants, the most in the past five years, CBP reports.

Twenty-five percent of the migrants encountered in August had tried to cross the border at least one time prior in the last year, that’s up significantly from an average 14% re-encounter rate that the Department of Homeland Security had experienced from 2014-19.

Graphic Source: CBP

CBP Acting Commissioner Troy Miller credited agents with continuing to deport the majority of migrants who cross the border into the United States under Title 42, a health order that has been in effect since March 2020 to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

“The men and women at CBP continue to step up to meet the demands of high numbers of encounters at our southern border. CBP recorded 2 percent fewer encounters in August than July. The vast majority of single adults encountered in August, along with a substantial share of families, continued to be expelled under the CDC’s Title 42 authority,” Miller said in a statement.

To reduce the spread of the Delta variant of coronavirus, DHS has also begun putting migrants on airplanes and flying them to the interior of Mexico, officials said.

There were 103,129 single-adult migrants encountered by agents in August, a 7% drop from July, CBP reports.

During August, 93,414 migrants who were encountered were expelled under Title 42, and 26,234 were processed under Title 8, which allows agents discretion in sending back migrants who cross the border without legal documents.

Nearly 20%, or 16,240 migrants encountered were part of family units who were expelled.

The northern Mexican state of Tamaulipas since late January has refused to accept back tender-age children under age 7, and so the majority of families crossing into South Texas into cities like Hidalgo, Mission and McAllen, have been released by DHS agents into the country legally until their immigration hearings.

A DHS official watches as migrants depart a bus on Aug. 3, 2021, in downtown McAllen, Texas. The migrant families have been legally released pending immigration court hearings in the United States. (Sandra Sanchez/Border Report File Photo)

The number of unaccompanied migrant children who agents encountered in August dipped just slightly, by 1% from July, with 18,847 children encountered compared to 18,958 in July.

All unaccompanied migrant children, except for Mexican children, are processed and placed in the care of U.S. Health and Human Services. As of Wednesday, DHS reported there were 13,348 unaccompanied migrant children in HHS care and 683 in CBP custody. DHS and HHS officials try to find families and relatives of the children to release them.

On Wednesday, there were 401 children put in CBP custody. Mexican children are released back south of the border to Mexico.

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