521,090: Aliens Caught or Turned Away at Southern Border Up 25% in FY 2018

Susan Jones | October 24, 2018 | 7:04am EDT
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Members of the migrant caravan push forward at a gate separating Guatemala from Mexico on October 19, 2018 in Ciudad Tecun Uman, Guatemala. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) - U.S. Customs and Border Protection says 521,090 foreigners were either apprehended or turned away at the long, porous U.S. border with Mexico in Fiscal Year 2018, which ended in September.

That 521,090 is a 25.4-percent increase from FY 2017, when 415,517 foreigners were apprehended/deemed inadmissible at the Southwest border, but it's 5 percent less than the 553,378 apprehended/deemed inadmissible in FY 2016.

CBP said for the month of September alone, 50,568 foreigners were either apprehended or turned away, an 8.23 percent increase from August; a 25.9 percent increase from July; and a whopping 61.66 percent increase from September 2017.

The CBP chart below shows that illegal immigration dipped sharply after Donald Trump entered the White House in January 2017, but since then it has returned to Obama-era levels.

And as recent television footage shows, thousands and thousands more asylum-seekers and would-be border-jumpers are on their way north as these numbers come out.


Excluing the "inadmissibles," 396,579 individuals were apprehended in Fiscal Year 2018 after crossing illegally into the U.S. from Mexico, compared with 303,916 individuals apprehended in FY 2017.

Of those 396,579 FY '18 apprehensions, 107,212 were family units -- a 42-percent increase from the 75,622 in FY 2017; and 50,036 were unaccompanied children (age 17 or under) -- a 21-percent increase from the 41,435 in FY '17.

Guatemalans comprised the largest population of family units/unaccompanied children apprehended between ports of entry in FY '18, followed by people from Honduras, El Salvador and Mexico.

The busiest Border Patrol sector was the Rio Grande Valley, where 162,262 people were apprehended in FY '18, followed by Tucson (52,172 apprehensions) and San Diego (38,591).

To put the most recent statistics in perspective, the 396,579 apprehensions at the Southwest Border in FY '18 is relatively low compared with earlier years.

For example, in FY 2000, 1,643,678 people were apprehended along the Southwest Border. The annual totals fluctuated between 905,065 and 1.64 million until FY 2007, when the number dropped to 858,638 and continued dropping for the next four years, to 327,577 in FY 2011.

That drop may be partly explained by the onset of the Great Recession in the U.S., which officially lasted from December 2007 to June 2009.

And it may also be explained by passage of the Secure Fence Act, signed by President George W. Bush in October 2006.

That law authorized construction of hundreds of miles of additional fencing along the southern border as well as more vehicle barriers, checkpoints and lighting. It also authorized the Department of Homeland Security to use advanced technology, such as cameras and satellites and unmanned aerial vehicles to reinforce border infrastructure.

"This bill will help protect the American people. This bill will make our borders more secure. It is an important step toward immigration reform," President George W. Bush said at the signing ceremony on Oct. 26, 2006.

"Ours is a nation of immigrants. We're also a nation of law. Unfortunately, the United States has not been in complete control of its borders for decades and, therefore, illegal immigration has been on the rise. We have a responsibility to address these challenges. We have a responsibility to enforce our laws. We have a responsibility to secure our borders. We take this responsibility seriously," President Bush said.

President Trump campaigned on a promise to build a "big, beautiful" border wall, taller and stronger than any now standing, but Democrats and some Republicans are not doing much to make it happen.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said a discussion about funding Trump's long-promised border wall will happen "after the election."

"We are still in favor of the wall," McConnell said in September. "We still want to get funding for the wall, but we think the best time to have that discussion is after the election."

Here's a look at annual apprehensions along the Southwest Border from FY 2000 through FY 2018.

FY 2000 - 1,643,678
FY 2001 - 1,235,718
FY 2002 - 929,809
FY 2003 - 905,065
FY 2004 - 1,139,282
FY 2005 - 1,171,396
FY 2006 - 1,071,972
FY 2007 - 858,638
FY 2008 - 705,005
FY 2009 - 540,865
FY 2010 - 447,731
FY 2011 - 327,577
FY 2012 - 356,873
FY 2013 - 414,397
FY 2014 - 479,371
FY 2015 - 331,333
FY 2016 - 408,870
FY 2017 - 303,916
FY 2018 - 396,579


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