Today, United States Customs and Border Protection released new information regarding the number of family units apprehended along the southwest border and the demographics of large groups apprehended in recent months by the United States Border Patrol (USBP). As of today, USBP has seen a surge in Family Unit Aliens compared to the same time from last fiscal year by 280%. Fiscal Year 2018 was a record year and this year will surpass that if the current trend continues without any legislative fixes. Overall apprehensions between the POE’s are up 81%.
Over the past few months (FY19 to date), USBP has seen a dramatic increase in the number of large groups of 100 illegal aliens or more being apprehended along the southern border. In the El Paso, Rio Grande Valley, Tucson, and Yuma Sectors over the last four months, smugglers and traffickers have delivered 53 large groups, totaling 8,797 illegal aliens.
Of the 8,797 apprehended in large groups, 7,757 are from Guatemala, and comprised mostly of family units (FMUA) and unaccompanied children (UAC). That means 96.1% are members of family units (84.6%) or unaccompanied children (11.5%) and 99.6% are from the Northern Triangle countries: Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
So far this fiscal year, USBP has also seen an increase in the numbers of apprehended individuals requiring medical attention.
- USBP transported 2,224 subjects (5.3% of all southwest border arrests for the same period) to local hospitals since December 22, 2018.
- USBP has spent a total of 19,299 hours providing various levels of support to these hospital visits. This includes transportation to and from, and over watch for each person/family at the hospital. This means there are less agents performing border security duties.
On January 15, 2019, USBP arrested a group of 247 illegal aliens, of which 50 individuals required immediate treatment/evaluation from a medical professional at a hospital. Transporting 50 individuals to the hospital utilized nearly all available agents, severely limiting their ability to process the large group or respond to other border security duties; thus resulting in increased time in custody, delaying custody transfer coordination, and inhibiting response to other illegal cross-border traffic.
Smugglers and traffickers then use these large groups as “cover” while USBP resources are utilized to arrest and detention related duties associated with the large groups.
- On January 16, 2018, USBP apprehended a group of 253 illegal aliens and in a separate event seized approximately 265 lbs of Marijuana.
- On January 17, 2018, USBP agents seized 705 lbs of Cocaine. On the same day, USBP agents apprehended a large group of 174.
- On January 18, 2018, USBP apprehended a group of 116 and in a separate event seized approximately 1,087 lbs of Marijuana.