US Border and Customs
March 5, 2019
WASHINGTON— Tuesday, March 5, U.S. Customs and Border Protection released statistics on Southwest Border apprehensions for fiscal year 2019 which demonstrate a new and growing challenge on the Southwest Border.
Family Unit Aliens (FMUA) are crossing our borders in record numbers. This fiscal year to date, CBP has seen a more than 300 percent increase in the number of family units apprehended compared to the same time period in fiscal year 2018. Today, family units and unaccompanied alien children (UAC) make up 60 percent of apprehension that have occurred along the southwest border and are predominantly from Central America, namely Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.
Additionally, there have been 70 large groups of 100 or more individuals totaling 12,069 apprehensions, compared to what Border Patrol encountered in FY18, which was 13 large groups, and in FY17, which was only two.
“We are currently facing a humanitarian and national security crisis along our southwest border. The vast increases in families and children coming across our border, in larger groups and in more remote areas, presents a unique challenge to our operations and facilities, and those of our partners, including the NGOS who work to assist these individuals and families throughout their immigration proceedings,” said CBP Commissioner Kevin K. McAleenan. “This is why I am working with our government partners and have identified additional funding for humanitarian resources in the field, including expanded medical protocols, and the addition of a more appropriate central processing center to handle the increased volumes of family units and unaccompanied minors.”
In response to the vast increases of Family Units and Unaccompanied Children encountered along the Southwest Border, CBP has implemented a directive to increase medical support for migrants while in CBP custody. The Interim Medical Directive works to address emerging health concerns with an emphasis on treatment for juvenile detainees.
CBP will also expand contracted medical support in major “high-risk” locations at and between ports of entry along the SWB where we have seen or anticipate large numbers of FMUA and UAC. This contracted medical support includes medical assessments by certified medical professionals (usually Registered Nurses and Family Nurse Practitioners) and translation services.
In addition, CBP is standing up a Centralized Processing Center (CPC) in El Paso, Texas, to increase the care of and provision for UAC and FMUA in the temporary custody of CBP while awaiting disposition by ICE and/or placement with HHS.
To view Southwest Border Migration statistics, please visit www.cbp.gov/newsroom/stats/sw-border-migration.
More Than 700 Taken Into Custody by El Paso Border Patrol Agents Overnight
On March 6, the US Customs stated that more than 700 people were taken into custody overnight by the El Paso Border Patrol agents.
“U.S. Border Patrol agents working in El Paso apprehended several large groups between last night and late afternoon Wednesday. These groups, like many others before, are comprised primarily of Central American families and unaccompanied juveniles.
Agents apprehended a group of 112 illegal aliens at the border wall near downtown just after midnight. At about the same time agents working further east were processing a group of 252 aliens apprehended at the border just west of Bowie High School. Throughout the morning hours several smaller groups also arrived at multiple locations along the border in the El Paso metropolitan area. In just a few hours the total number taken into custody exceeded 500.
Criminal organizations continue to attempt to distract and occupy Border Patrol agents however their continued vigilance and experience is stopping these attempts.
Tuesday CBP released data detailing the record number of apprehensions of inadmissible family units border wide. The data showed the greatest increase in the El Paso Sector where family groups are up 1,689% when compared to same period last year. More information and data can be found online.
Significant Increases in Hard Narcotics Seized at South Texas Ports of Entry
$243 million in drugs, 159 weapons
March 6, 2019
Texas – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at eight South Texas ports of entry seized a significant amount of narcotics, unreported currency, weapons and uncovered numerous immigration violations during Fiscal Year 2018. Fiscal Year 2018 began October 1, 2017 and ended Sept. 30, 2018.
“Our frontline CBP officers continued to keep our border secure at South Texas ports of entry during FY 2018 as we interdicted significant volumes of hard narcotics such as methamphetamine and heroin. Increased implementation of intelligence-driven operations, analysis, crime scene investigation and information sharing has helped sharpen and maximize our effectiveness. We continue to carry out our border mission while facilitating lawful trade and travel at Laredo Field Office ports of entry and treating travelers with dignity, professionalism and respect,” said Director, Field Operations David P. Higgerson, Laredo Field Office.
During FY 2018, CBP officers at the eight ports of entry extending from Brownsville to Del Rio that comprise the Laredo Field Office seized 101,509 pounds of narcotics that would have commanded a combined estimated street value of $243 million. Specifically, they seized 84,077 pounds of marijuana; 7,083 pounds of cocaine; 7,560 pounds of methamphetamine, up 25 percent from FY 2017; 735 pounds of heroin, up 20 percent from FY 17, $4 million in unreported currency, 159 firearms and 127,146 rounds of ammunition.
CBP officers at Laredo Field Office ports of entry in FY 2018 also determined that a total of 45,160 non-U.S. citizens were inadmissible to the U.S. due to violations of immigration law.