In a press release this morning, U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced its July 2019 migration statistics. In July, the CBP apprehended or encountered 82,049 individuals who either crossed the border illegally or were deemed inadmissible at Southwest border ports of entry. This brings the total of enforcement actions this fiscal year to date (since October 1, 2018) to 862,785.
Of these total enforcement actions, 71,999 were of individuals apprehended after illegally crossing the border. The total number of apprehensions for this fiscal year so far is now 760,370, far exceeding the previous record, set in 2014, of 479,371. The July figures for this group do show a 21% decrease from last month and a 43% decrease from May.
That portion of the enforcement actions that represented individuals deemed inadmissible at ports of entry saw an increase, from 9,459 to 10,050.
The countries most represented in enforcement actions continue to be Mexico and the countries of the so-called Northern Triangle (El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras), though the figures do show a 26% decrease in enforcement actions from those countries in July.
Seasonal variances related to summer heat probably account for some of the decrease, though last year’s decrease from June to July was only 7% compared with this year’s of 21%. Instead, the CBP attributes the current drop in enforcement actions primarily to efforts made internally by both Mexico and Guatemala, as well as policies such as Migrant Protection Protocol (“Remain in Mexico”), increased interior enforcement, and the Interim Final Rule (the designation of Guatemala a “safe third country”).
The CBP press release concludes with this overall statement:
The continued impacts of the crisis to legitimate trade and travel cannot be overstated. CBP still has some 400 officers from ports of entry assigned to the Southwest border to assist Border Patrol with processing the surge of migrants being apprehended. Furthermore, Border Patrol Agents continue to dedicate approximately 40-60% of their time away from their frontline positions on the border to manage the humanitarian crisis.
To see the full press release, go to the Customs and Border Protection website.