Border Patrol arrests at highest level in 35 years: report

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Illegal immigration into the US is hitting a new record, with arrests made by the Border Patrol during the 2021 fiscal year reaching their highest levels since 1986, according to a new report. 

US Customs and Border Protection data obtained by the Washington Post reveals how illegal immigration numbers have shot up during President Biden’s administration — with some illegal migrants thanking Biden for lifting strict immigration policies implemented under former President Donald Trump.

Mexico was the largest single source of illegal immigration during the fiscal year, the data revealed, with the Border Patrol arresting over 608,000 Mexican nationals. This number alone is bigger than the average number of border arrests from 2012 to 2020 — 540,000. 

The second-biggest source of illegal immigrants was categorized as “other” and comprised Haitians, Venezuelans, Ecuadorans, Cubans, Brazilians and migrants from several other countries — totaling around 367,000 arrests. 

The Border Patrol also made about 309,000 arrests of Honduran illegal immigrants, 279,000 Guatemalan nationals, and around 96,000 migrants from El Salvador. 

In total, the agency made more than 1.3 million arrests of illegal immigrants along the southern border since Biden took office in January. The number of border arrests made in FY 2021 — over 1.7 million — is the second-highest annual total ever recorded, according to the report.

United States Border Patrol agents process  migrants who crossed the US-Mexico border into the United States in Roma, Texas
Border Patrol agents process migrants who crossed the US-Mexico border into the US in Roma, Texas.
PAUL RATJE/AFP via Getty Images

Border Patrol agents saw the largest levels of arrests in July and August, when they took over 200,000 migrants into custody. That number was closely followed last month, when officials arrested around 192,000 migrants, the CBP data revealed. 

In 1986, Border Patrol agents made 1.69 million arrests nationwide. CBP data does not specify how many were made along the southern border or elsewhere in the US. Out of the 1.7 million detained in FY 2021, 1.66 million were apprehended along the Mexican border alone, per the report. 

Amid the growing number of arrests along the border, the CBP data did indicate declining seizures in cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine. 

Across the Mexican border, the Rio Grande Valley sector saw the largest amount of traffic, with around 549,000 apprehensions in the Del Rio sector followed with 259,000 arrests. 

In September, Del Rio was slammed with a massive influx of illegal immigrants, many of whom were Haitians, over the span of one week. 

Custom Border Patrol (CBP) agents row on a boat at the Rio Grande river as seen from Ciudad Acuna, Coahuila state, Mexico.
Border Patrol agents row a boat at the Rio Grande river as seen from Ciudad Acuna, Coahuila state, Mexico.
PEDRO PARDO/AFP via Getty Images
Illegal immigrants who arrived across the Rio Grande river from Mexico make their way along a track past a US border patrol agent.
Illegal immigrants who arrived across the Rio Grande river from Mexico make their way along a track past a US Border Patrol agent.
ED JONES/AFP via Getty Images

According to some estimates, the city saw nearly 15,000 migrants camped under the Del Rio International Bridge at one time, after they crossed the Rio Grande.  

Local and state officials pleaded with the administration for assistance, citing a lack of Border Patrol manpower and security concerns.

The Biden administration has faced backlash since January over its inaction on the border crisis.

Most recently, the president was slammed after The Post reported planeloads of migrants are being flown secretly into suburban New York. 

The administration has claimed it is apprehending and deporting as many migrants as it can under Title 42, but a September memo from the Department of Homeland Security revealed the government does not have the resources to apprehend every person who has entered the US unlawfully.

According to Wednesday’s report, 61 percent of the 1.7 million apprehended have been expelled under Title 42. The deportation of migrants has led to an increase of repeat crossing, with recidivism rates reaching more than 25 percent recently. 

The agency is expected to release the whole FY 2021 data this week, per the report.

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