Border crisis: Apprehensions rose 5% last month to levels first seen last spring

Earlier this year, there was a specific moment when it became clear to everyone that the crisis at the southern border was not the result of seasonal variation as President Biden had claimed. That moment came in early April when Customs and Border Protection released the border apprehension numbers for the previous month. The number of encounters reported for March 2021 was 173,277. The graph looked like this.

Today, the Washington Post’s Nick Miroff reports CBP border apprehension numbers for November and the total last month was 173,600, slightly higher than that dramatic spike back in March and about 5% higher than the numbers for October.

CBP made more than 173,600 arrests at the U.S.-Mexico border in November, a more than 5 percent increase from the month before and the largest influx for that month in years, according to the unpublished numbers. The increase is driven by sharp increases in arrivals from Venezuela, which smashed the record set in October, as well as steady arrivals from Cuba, parts of Central America and Mexico.

Apprehensions remain well below the 213,000 taken into custody in July, and some people were probably arrested more than once as they attempted to cross…

While November arrests were lower than in the summer months, they were much higher than is usual for this time of year, and more than double the 72,000 taken into custody in November 2020.

The 2021 Fiscal Year which ended in September had the highest number of border encounters ever recorded. At roughly 1.7 million, it was more than the population of 11 states. While it’s true that the rate of people attempting to cross more than once is up this year, it’s also true that there have been a significant number of “got aways” all year, i.e. illegal immigrants who weren’t captured.

The really significant point here is that last year set a fiscal year record despite numbers for the first four months of the year remaining relatively low (between 71,000 and 79,000 per month). This fiscal year is starting off with numbers that are more than double that. Obviously if that trend continues then we’re setting ourselves up for another record this year.

Just before Christmas last year, when Biden was still President-Elect, he said that he didn’t want to see “2 million people” at the border. He came close in FY21 but he could actually get there in FY22 if something doesn’t change. Maybe at some point the president will make a trip to the border to see what is happening. The two-minute long highway drive-by he made in 2008 on his way to a fundraiser really doesn’t count.

Finally, the CBP website hasn’t updated their monthly chart yet so I can’t post it. They’re probably waiting for late Friday afternoon to do that.

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