Record Fiscal Year Ends for Border Patrol

The Border Patrol has closed the books on fiscal year 2019, which ended September 30. The Washington Examiner has obtained exclusive data regarding that year, and there’s no surprise that it was a big one. While “only” 40,000 were arrested in September (down from the May high of 132,000), throughout the year the Border Patrol arrested more than 851,000 persons crossing the southern border between official ports of entry.

Not included in the total are those who approached the border in those areas and were turned away. Those figures will be provided in a few weeks. Also not included are the 263,000 (as of August 31) who attempted to cross at ports of entry but were turned away. And not included are those arrested or turned away at the U.S.-Canada border and along the Pacific and Atlantic coasts. Finally, it goes without saying, there are an unknown number of successful illegal crossers, perhaps as many as those who were interdicted.

Border Patrol agents search illegal border crossers in the Imperial Valley, CA

Even without all these highly relevant exceptions, 851,000 is a huge number. Over the year, it averages out to more than 2332 per day. That’s about the size of an average small town in America. The yearly total is the highest since fiscal year 2007, which saw 858,638 such arrests.

As usual, most of those apprehended were natives of Mexico, but about 250,000 each were from Guatemala and Honduras. The biggest change otherwise was in the number of families attempting illegally crossing. Just a few years ago, in 2015, fewer than 80,000 crossed with a family member. As of August 31, that number for fiscal year 2019 was 450,000, virtually swamping Border Patrol efforts in the first few months of the year.

While illegal crossing between ports of entry fell off this summer, no one expects the pressure on the Border Patrol to lessen anytime soon. There is too much money to be made by crooked businesses, too many votes to be garnered by corrupt politicians, too much wealth to be gained by violent smuggling cartels, and too little spine on the part of our elected representatives. Good luck to the BP.

For more, see the Washington Examiner.

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