The Rio Grande of Texas is seeing an unprecedented increase in arrests of illegal immigrants, testing the limits of resources of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
U.S. Border Patrol has revealed that in the first six months of fiscal year 2019 (which began in October of 2018), arrests of illegal migrants surpassed the total for all of fiscal year 2018. Through this past week, over 164,000 migrants have been apprehended in the Rio Grande sector of Texas, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. In all of 2018, the Rio Grande totaled 162,262 apprehensions, according to numbers provided by the Texas Tribune.
In all, U.S. Border Patrol has seen a 370% increase in the apprehension of “family units” compared to the same time period in 2018. 60% of all arrests along the Southwest border are “family units” and unaccompanied children, mostly from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
In March alone, a total of 103,492 migrants were detained across the entire border, the largest total since the George W. Bush years.
Complicating matters are most of those arrested are claiming asylum. While most will ultimately not qualify for asylum status, by making the claim, the migrants are given preferential treatment that could delay or prevent their deportation.
Border Patrol is also encountering more large groups of migrants. In the first six months of 2019’s fiscal year, Border Patrol intercepted 104 groups of 100 or more people, resulting in 17,242 arrests. In fiscal year 2018, Border Patrol only encountered 13 large groups, and in fiscal year 2017, they only saw two.
Unaccompanied children, mostly from Central America, continue to be a problem at the border. So far in 2019, the Rio Grande Valley sector alone has apprehended 15,310 unaccompanied minors, with most claiming asylum. In 2018, 23,760 unaccompanied children were apprehended along the Rio Grande, indicating an unprecedented surge continues to flow over the border.
“We are currently experiencing a system-wide emergency in our processing and holding facilities. 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,” said CBP Deputy Commissioner Robert E. Perez. “The impacts to legitimate trade and travel cannot be overstated. As this crisis continues to worsen, it undermines CBP’s ability to perform its dual mission of protecting our borders and facilitating legitimate trade and travel.”
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H/T: The Daily Caller