CBP reports 164K illegal immigrant stops in October

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CBP reports 164K illegal immigrant stops in October

More than 164,000 people were apprehended last month while attempting to illegally cross the US-Mexico border, according to US Customs and Border Protection — more than twice the number who were apprehended in the same month last year.

The 164,303 encounters recorded by CBP represent a 14 percent decrease from September and a 23 percent decrease from July, when 213,593 migrants were apprehended — the highest total in 21 years.

While the number of encounters is decreasing month-over-month, the October figure represents a 128 percent increase in apprehensions over the 71,929 encountered in October 2020 and a 263 percent increase over the 45,139 encounters in October 2019.

“CBP’s workforce continues to demonstrate excellence and dedication as they manage heightened travel demands on the border, facilitate a return to normal travel and trade at all our ports of entry, and manage migrant encounters in a safe, orderly, and humane way,” CBP Acting Commissioner Troy Miller said in a statement.

A girl looks on as migrants from Guatemala remove their shoelaces as they are initially processed after turning themselves over to authorities at the US-Mexico border May 12, 2021 in Yuma, Arizona.
A girl looks on as migrants from Guatemala remove their shoelaces as they are initially processed after turning themselves over to authorities at the US-Mexico border on May 12, 2021, in Yuma, Arizona.
AFP via Getty Images
Central American immigrants board a US Border Patrol vehicle at a makeshift processing center after disembarking from an inflatable boat on the US side of the Rio Grande, in Roma, Texas on March 28, 2021.
Central American immigrants board a US Border Patrol vehicle at a makeshift processing center after disembarking from an inflatable boat on the US side of the Rio Grande, in Roma, Texas, on March 28, 2021.
AFP via Getty Images

According to CBP, 29 percent of those apprehended in October had at least one encounter with border agents within the past 12 months, compared to an average re-encounter rate of 14 percent between October 2013 and September 2019.

The agency added that more than 93,000 migrants (57 percent of the total) encountered at the US-Mexico border in October were processed for expulsion under Title 42, an order that allowed US officials to expel migrants without seeing an immigration judge. 

October also saw decreases in the number of encounters of unaccompanied children and those in family units, which dropped 11 percent and 34 percent from September, respectively. The number of family unit individuals, over 42,000, was less than half of the peak hit in August. 

Migrants from Guatemala follow an officer as they cross the border by the wall separating the United States and Mexico after turning themselves over to authorities on May 12, 2021 in Yuma, Arizona.
Migrants from Guatemala follow an officer as they cross the border by the wall separating the United States and Mexico after turning themselves over to authorities on May 12, 2021, in Yuma, Arizona.
AFP via Getty Images

Approximately two-thirds of the encounters along the border were single adults.

“October marks the third straight month of declining unauthorized migrant encounters along the Southwest border — with particularly sharp drops in families and unaccompanied children — and CBP’s workforce continues to work with partners across the federal government and throughout the hemisphere to disrupt the smugglers intent on exploiting vulnerable migrants for profit,” Miller added.

Between October 2020 and September of this year, agents detained more than 1.7 million migrants — the second-highest annual total ever recorded. At least 61 percent have been processed for expulsion. 

Border Patrol agents are arresting hundreds of migrants every day, and on Friday, agents in the Rio Grande Valley sector reported encountering nearly 2,000 migrants within 24 hours.

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