(CNSNews.com) – Arrivals of migrant families on the border in 2019 more than tripled compared to any previous fiscal year on record, acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan announced Tuesday.
During a White House press conference, Morgan outlined the strides his department has made in apprehending illegal immigrants as well as the growing number of family units trying to cross the border.
“This past fiscal year, CBP has faced unprecedented and staggering levels of illegal crossings. While the comprehensive numbers will be forthcoming with respect to all the numbers and all the statistics for 2019, CBP’s enforcement actions on our southwest border totaled nearly 1 million in fiscal year 2019. This is a staggering 88 percent higher than the number of enforcement actions in 2018 – 88 percent higher,” he said.
Morgan said that no immigration system in the world was designed to handle numbers that high, including the United States.
“Arrivals from families to the border in fiscal year 2019 more than tripled any previous fiscal year on record,” he said.
While the number of CBP law enforcement actions overall in fiscal year 2019 is higher than any other year, the commissioner reported a downward trend last month compared to a few months ago.
Morgan said the administration’s strategies have brought about “dramatic results.” He noted that even though Congress has done nothing to address the crisis – not putting forth “a single piece of legislation” or even introducing it to the floor, the administration has addressed the crisis.
“This September marked the lowest number of law enforcement actions during Fiscal Year 2019. The total number of law enforcement actions last month was just over 52,000 -- down almost 65 percent from the peak in May of 144,000. This represents the fourth month in a row of a steady decline in apprehensions. This is an unprecedented achievement,” the commission said.
“Last month, it was another decline of 18 percent from August to September, and this marked the fourth consecutive month that the United States Border Patrol alone averaged 25 percent lower in the last four months,” Morgan said.
The commissioner credited the administration’s Migrant Protection Protocol (MPP) initiative as the reason for the decline in apprehensions.
“Initiatives implemented under this administration, like the Migrant Protection Protocol, or MPP -- which was established in accordance with Section 235 of the Immigration and Nationality Act -- have brought about the downward trend in border enforcement statistics and strengthened the integrity of the immigration system,” Morgan said.
“In close partnership with the government of Mexico, MPP allowed for migrants illegally crossing, or at the POEs without documents, to be returned to Mexico to await expedited immigration proceedings in the United States. If they have meritorious claims, they receive relief in just a few months, rather than waiting in limbo in the United States, sometimes for years. And if they have unsuccessful claims, they are swiftly returned to their home country, or they can return voluntarily,” he said.
“Through our partnership with Mexico, CBP has enrolled more than 51,000 people in MPP, and Mexico, again, being true partners, has agreed to provide humanitarian protections and even work authorizations to these individuals for the duration of their stay. With MPP, migrants are receiving due process and protection while the United States is restoring integrity to our immigration system,” the commissioner said.