US Border Patrol agents apprehended over 150,000 migrants who illegally crossed between ports of entry during the 1st quarter of Fiscal Year 2019. Of those, nearly 100,000 consisted of families and unaccompanied minors.
For the 3rd straight month, Border Patrol agents apprehended over 50,000 migrants who crossed the border between ports of entry in December. During the 1st quarter of the new fiscal year, agents apprehended a total of 153,609 who illegally crossed the border, according to the December Southwest Border Migration report released Monday morning. The partial government shutdown delayed the release of the December report.
The apprehension of the over 150,000 migrants represents nearly 40% of the total number of migrant apprehensions during the entire previous fiscal year. The 1st quarter apprehensions represent a nearly 84% increase over the prior year’s 1st quarter total of 83,568.
"These statistics are disturbing," Center for Immigration Studies Director of Policy Studies Jessica Vaughan told Breitbart News Monday morning. "There can be no doubt that our catch and release policies are enticing people to trek through Mexico to our mostly unsecured border with a child in tow, so they'll be allowed in to live here indefinitely."
"It’s wrong for our government to maintain these policies, when they tempt people to make such dangerous choices that endanger their kids and enrich criminal smuggling organizations on top of it," Vaughan explained. "It’s wrong to impose the burden of supporting these families on American communities, where the schools, housing and welfare programs often are already stretched thin."
The apprehension of Family Unit Aliens (FMUA) and Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) during the 1st quarter jumped to 90,807 — an increase of over 190% over the same period last year, the report indicates. Looking at the FMUA apprehensions exclusively (75,794) shows a massive 280% increase over the prior year and represents over 70% of the previous year’s entire FMUA apprehensions (107,212).
While the Rio Grande Valley Sector continues to see the largest number of FMUA apprehensions of the nine southwestern Border Patrol sectors, the El Paso Sector witnessed a massive 1,602% increase over the previous year’s 1st-quarter numbers, officials reported. Much of this is in the tiny section of the border known as the New Mexico Bootheel. Agents apprehended 1,114 family units in the El Paso Sector during December 2017. In December 2018, that number jumped to 18,957.
6 other Border Patrol sectors witnessed triple-digit % increases in the apprehension of family units, mostly Central American migrants, who crossed the border illegally in December 2018. Those sectors are: San Diego (667%), Del Rio (330%), El Centro (310%), Tucson (244%), Rio Grande Valley (178%) and Yuma (174%). The Laredo Sector only saw a 72% increase over the previous December and the Big Bend Sector actually saw a 50% decrease over the prior year.
Of the 75,794 migrant families apprehended during the 1st quarter of the fiscal year came to the US mainly from Guatemala (38430), Honduras (27,180) and El Salvador (7,283). The families from these countries (72,893) represented 96% of all family units apprehended along the southwest border between ports of entry.
"Obviously Congress isn't going to fix this problem," Director Vaughan concluded. "The Democrats’ budget proposal would make it even worse. The wall isn't the magic answer to this problem, either, although it would help."
"The most sensible policy's the combination of a more secure border along with the new Migrant Protection Protocols, which provide for asylum seekers who aren't facing danger in Mexico to remain there until their case winds through the immigration courts," she said. "This will remove a big part of the incentive for them to come and with more border infrastructure and manpower, then the ones who try to come in illegally will be more likely to be caught. "