Halfway through fiscal year (FY) 2019, 104 caravans of 100 or more migrants tried to enter the U.S. via its southwest border – up from only 13 in all of FY2018, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reported Tuesday.
Only two caravans of 100+ migrants tried to breach the border during the 12 months (October-September) of fiscal year 2018.
The 104 large caravans encountered in the first six months of FY2019 (through March) resulted in 17,242 apprehensions of migrants trying to enter the U.S.
CBP Deputy Commissioner Robert E. Perez says the overwhelming number of border-crashers is diminishing CBP’s ability to provide law enforcement and to care to those in custody:
“The humanitarian crisis created by a massive influx of family groups and unaccompanied children in recent months has forced CBP to reallocate resources away from law enforcement, trade and travel missions to process and provide care for those in our custody.”
A 370% increase in the number of family units trying to cross the border is also putting a strain on resources, CBP reports:
“In Fiscal Year 2019 to date, the U.S. Border Patrol has seen a more than 370% increase in the number of family units apprehended compared to the same time period in FY2018. Today, 60% of apprehensions along the Southwest border are family units and unaccompanied children, made up predominantly of individuals from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.”