(CNSNews.com) - Central Americans and other foreigners continue pouring into this country at an accelerating pace, as the latest number from U.S. Customs and Border Protection show.
In April, 109,144 people were apprehended or deemed inadmissible at the Southwest border, by far the largest monthly number of either the Trump or Obama presidencies. And those are just the people encountered by the Border Patrol. No one knows how many people sneaked across the border without being detected.
The 109,144 people encountered last month compares with 103,719 in March; and it’s a 113.3 percent increase from the 51,168 apprehended/deemed inadmissible in April 2018.
So far in Fiscal 2019 – with five months left to go -- 531,711 people have been apprehended or deemed inadmissible at the Southwest border, more than the total for all of Fiscal Years 2018 (521,090) and 2017 (415,517).
Breaking down the April number: 98,977 people were apprehended at the Southwest border last month, including 8,897 unaccompanied children; 58,474 family units; and 31,606 single adults. Another 10,167 foreigners were deemed inadmissible.
The table below, taken straight from the CBP webpage, shows the sharp decline in apprehensions/inadmissibles shortly after Donald Trump took office in January 2017, promising to build a “big, beautiful” wall.
In April 2017, for example, only 15,798 people were stopped at the border, a Trump-era low. But that number has been rising since then, escalating sharply at the beginning of Fiscal Year 2019.
People who come here illegally, including the recent massive influx of families seeking asylum, are taking advantage of lax U.S. immigration laws and court rulings that in many cases require their release into the interior of the United States on a promise to appear later for an immigration hearing.
As Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) noted at a hearing on Wednesday, the U.S. Border Patrol is overwhelmed by the increasing numbers, and because they don’t have the capacity to detain so many people, they are forced to release some of them.
Cornyn pointed to a “new phenomenon” -- the rapid rise in the number of large groups, 100 okr more people, arriving together at the border, "making the demanding jobs of agents on patrol all the more difficult."
“This was most strikingly on display this last week when a group of more than 400 migrants presented themselves in the small town of Sunland Park, New Mexico, just across the border from El Paso, Texas,” Cornyn said. “The increased apprehensions have led to crowded Border Patrol stations, and on certain days over the past few months, CBP has had more than 14,000 people in their custody.”
Cornyn noted that CBP “simply does not have the facilities or resources to manage those kinds of numbers.”
Testifying at that same hearing, U.S. Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost said she joined the Border Patrol nearly 25 years ago.
“I could never have envisioned that today, agents would spend at least 40 percent of their time as child care professionals, medical care givers, bus drivers and food service workers.”
She noted that so far this year, agents have rescued more than 2,200 migrants endangered by “ruthless” smugglers.
“As we sit here today, thousands more are being encouraged to bring or send their children to our border, based on smugglers’ false promises of a safe and easy journey,” Provost said.
“As of Sunday, only seven months into the (fiscal) year, we have now surpassed the total Southwest border apprehensions of every fiscal year since 2009. The number of family units and unaccompanied children (UACs) has skyrocketed to 64 percent of southern border apprehensions.
“So far this year, we’ve apprehended 248,197 family unit aliens and 44,779 UACs. These populations present significant challenges, not only because of the additional care they require, but because our immigration system treats them differently than single adults," Provost said.
“For the first time in Border Patrol history, nearly half of the adults we apprehended in April brought children. The have received the message loud and clear. Bring a child, you will be released.”