(CNSNews.com) – The number of U.S. Customs and Border Protection “encounters” with illegal Russian migrants on the southwest border in the first month of the new fiscal year rose more than 225-fold from the same month last year.
According to monthly data released by the CBP on Monday, 1,577 encounters with Russians were recorded last month, up from just seven in October 2020 – an increase of 22,428.6 percent.
Other strikingly large increases in the number of apprehensions along the U.S.-Mexico border last month include those involving illegal migrants from Colombia (up 11,428.1 percent from Oct. 2020), Venezuela (up 9,274.8 percent), India (up 6,980 percent), Brazil (up 4,744.1 percent), and Turkey (up 3,727.2 percent).
If the Oct. 2021 figures are compared to those from Oct. 2019 – before the global coronavirus pandemic occurred – the increases are still significant: encounters with Russians up by 1,271.3 percent, with Colombians up by 7,207.3 percent, with Venezuelans up by 1,741.4 percent, with Indians up by 289 percent, with Brazilians up by 425 percent, and with Turks up 2,238.8 percent.
Overall, the CBP reported 164,303 encounters on the southwest border last month, the majority from Mexico (65,726), and the northern triangle countries of Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras (50,937 combined).
Of migrants from the rest of the world intercepted along the border, the largest numbers of interactions occurred with those from Venezuela (13,406 encounters), Nicaragua (9,212), Brazil (7,896), and Cuba (5,870).
The data released by the CBP do not include an accounting of those migrants who escape detection on their way into the United States.
The CBP provides data on “encounters” rather than the number of actual individuals apprehended because it says many migrants make multiple attempts to get into the United States.
For the month of October, the CBP said 29 percent of the encounters involved individuals who had had at least one prior encounter during the previous 12-month period.
The CBP is the largest federal law enforcement agency falling under the Department of Homeland Security.
During a Senate Judiciary Committee DHS oversight hearing on Tuesday, Republican senators grilled Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on migration and other issues.
“Do you believe that the Biden immigration policies are successful?” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) asked Mayorkas.
“I think rebuilding a broken immigration system and rebuilding a dismantled one takes time, and we’re on the road to success,” replied the secretary, who like other administration officials often describes the migration system it inherited from the Trump administration as “broken.”
(White House press secretary Jen Psaki alone has used the word “broken” in relation to the immigration system during at least 13 separate press briefings since March.)
“You think we’re on the right track as a nation?” Graham asked.
“I do,” said Mayorkas.
Asked how he would grade himself, Mayorkas replied, “Senator, I’m a tough grader on myself. And I give myself an ‘A’ for effort, investment in mission, and support of our workforce.”
Asked if he thought the administration was doing a better job than its predecessor, Mayorkas said, “I believe in the policies that we are putting forward and I condemned a number of the policies that were promulgated in the prior administration.”
Graham then asked whether Mayorkas thought the authorities have more control over the border now than was the case under the Trump administration.
“I think that we have more control that is consistent with our values as a nation,” he said.