(CNSNews.com) – The number of “encounters” with migrants trying to enter the U.S. illegally at the southwest border and coming from countries other than Mexico and the “northern triangle” climbed to a new high of 61,484 in August – a 1,690 percent increase from the same month last year.
Although some of last year’s figures would have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, the August figure for this cohort of apprehended migrants is still up 456 percent from the same month in 2019, and up 1,258 percent from the same month in 2018, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) figures released on Wednesday.
The majority of migrants apprehended along the southern border while trying to get into the U.S. illegally come from Mexico and the northern triangle countries of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
But when those numbers are excluded, the number of apprehensions of migrants originating from all other countries has reached 308,294 so far this fiscal year, which runs through the end of September.
That’s an increase of 188 percent over the number of encounters for the same 11-month period in FY 2019 (Oct. 2018 - Sept. 2019), when 107,117 were recorded.
This calendar year has seen consistent month-on-month increases in the number of apprehensions of migrants from countries other than Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, with the increases growing more steeply after February: 9,671 in January, 11,909 in February, 25,123 in March, 33,899 in April, 40,675 in May, 47,224 in June, 59,006 in July, and now 61,484 in August.
Migrants from Colombia accounted for one of the larger increase in the number of encounters last month, more than doubling from 751 in July to 1,563 in August.
The number of apprehensions involving Russians, Turks, and Indians also increased month-on-month, from 702 to 757 (up 7.8 percent), 150 to 251 (67.3 percent), and 126 to 374 (196.8 percent), respectively.
Among countries accounting for larger numbers of migrants being apprehended, encounters with migrants from Haiti were up 37 percent, from 5,510 in July to 7,580 in August, and from Cuba were up 26 percent, from 3,557 to 4,494.
The number of encounters with migrants from Venezuela rose slightly, from 6,126 to 6,296 (2.7 percent), from Brazil the increase was from 8,643 to 9,098 (5.2 percent), while encounters with migrants from Nicaragua dropped, from 13,456 in July to 9,948 in August (a 26 percent decrease).
Overall, the CBP reported a total of 208,887 encounters on the southwest border in August, making it the second highest monthly number since fiscal year 2000. The highest was recorded just one month earlier, at 213,534.
Since the beginning of 2021, the number of encounters along the southwest border climbed steadily each month – 78,414 in January, 101,099 in February, 173,281 in March, 178,799 in April, 180,563 in May, 189,020 in June, 213,534 in July – before dropping slightly to August’s 208,887.
The CBP said 25 percent of the August encounters involved individuals who had had at least one prior encounter during the previous 12-month period.