Mark Morgan, the acting commissioner at Customs and Border Protection (CBP), spoke to reporters yesterday, giving a review of agency activities during the recently closed fiscal year. Below are some of his main points:
- One million illegal migrants were apprehended on our southern border with Mexico, 88 percent more than in FY 2018. Morgan: “These numbers are numbers that no immigration system in the world is designed to handle, including ours.”
- At least 150,000 illegal migrants crossed successfully into the U.S., or nearly 13,000 each month (“a conservative estimate,” Morgan admits).
- More than 51,000 were returned to Mexico as part of the “Remain in Mexico” policy.
- During the last month of the fiscal year, September, 52,000 migrants were apprehended at the border, down from the peak of 144,000 in May.
- Currently, daily apprehensions are around 1,700, down from the May peak of nearly 5,000. That number is still “unacceptable.”
- Catch and release has been “essentially ended.”
- Next week, the CBP will begin enforcing the new “safe third country” policy, requiring migrants to apply for asylum in the countries that they cross on their way to the U.S. border.
- Morgan praised the efforts of Mexico in assisting the U.S., in both its support of “Remain in Mexico” and its enhanced security internally and at both its borders. He said Mexico’s cooperation is “something really for the history books.”
- The Wall: To date, a total of 71 miles of new border wall has been constructed. By the end of 2020, another 450 miles of new border wall system is expected.