While the overall numbers are consistent with an expected seasonal increase, the number of family unit apprehensions increased 40 percent in the latest border apprehension statistics, approximately 4,500 more than July.
In August, the number of family units apprehended represented 34 percent of all Southwest border apprehensions, an increase from an average of 25 percent for the year.
A total of 37,544 individuals were apprehended last month between ports of entry on the Southwest border, compared with 31,299 in July and 34,091 in June. In Fiscal Year 2017, Border Patrol apprehended 303,916 individuals compared to 408,870 in FY16, 331,333 in FY15, and 479,371 in FY14.
In August, 9,016 people presenting themselves at southern ports of entry were deemed inadmissible compared to 8,650 in July, and 8,743 in June. In FY 2017, 111,275 individuals were deemed inadmissible compared to 150,825 in FY16, 114,486 in FY15 and 90,601 in FY14.
Inadmissibility metrics include individuals encountered at ports of entry who are seeking lawful admission into the United States but are determined to be inadmissible, individuals presenting themselves to seek humanitarian protection under our laws, and individuals who withdraw an application for admission and return to their countries of origin within a short timeframe.
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Press Secretary Tyler Q. Houlton said in response to the numbers that “smugglers and traffickers understand our broken immigration laws better than most and know that if a family unit illegally enters the U.S. they are likely to be released into the interior.”
“We know that the vast majority of family units who have been released, despite having no right to remain in any legal status, fail to ever depart or be removed,” he said. “Through the third quarter of FY 2018, only 1.4 percent of family units have been repatriated to their home country from noncontiguous countries such as El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.”