U.S. Customs and Border Protection Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan and Deputy Commissioner Robert Perez along with operational component leadership released the agency’s Fiscal Year 2020 southwest border migration and enforcement statistics during a press conference Wednesday in Tucson.
FY2020 CBP Enforcement
CBP encounters with illegal border crossers decreased 53 percent in FY20 with 458,088 people encountered, down from 977,509 in FY19.
- Border Patrol Encounters: 400,651 (-53% from FY19)
- Office of Field Operations Encounters: 57,437 (-54% from FY19)
Single adult males from Mexico accounted for 56 percent of migrants encountered this year, a significant change from a FY19, when 64 percent of the encounters were individuals from the Northern Triangle countries. Overall, single adults accounted for 77 percent of the total encounters this year, compared to 38 percent last year.
Smugglers continue to place migrants in harm’s way, loading large numbers of migrants into perilously hot, crowded trailers designed for cargo and animal transport, with no ventilation, no food or water, and typically no means of escape. Additionally, overcrowded, unsanitary stash houses continue to be breeding grounds for COVID-19 and put migrants at risk of dangerous sex and drug trafficking trades.
In FY20, more than 280 stash house cases were disrupted with 2,818 illegal aliens apprehended along the border, a decrease of 5 percent from FY19. CBP also disrupted 276 tractor-trailer cases with 4,589 illegal aliens apprehended, an increase of 36 percent over FY19.
CBP personnel continue to intercept narcotics transiting our borders nationwide. In FY20, CBP seized nearly 830,000 pounds of drugs. Compared to last year:
- Cocaine interceptions decreased 43%
- Methamphetamine seizures (including crystal and liquid methamphetamine) increased 25%
- Heroin seizures decreased 7%
- Fentanyl seizures increased 71%
- Marijuana seizures increased 5%
Since the start of FY20, CBP officers and agents have rescued more than 5,255 individuals in a wide variety of circumstances, a 1 percent decrease from FY19. CBP officers and agents continue to stand ready to provide lifesaving assistance to all who need it.
Ensuring Fair Trade and Acting Against Forced Labor Overseas
CBP is the only Customs agency in the world that for 90 years has been exercising statutory authority to detain shipments based on reasonable suspicion that the shipments contain goods made with forced labor. Forced labor is a human rights violation, and imported goods made with forced labor create unfair competition for U.S. businesses that follow fair labor standards.
On September 14, CBP announced five Withhold Release Orders (WROs) on goods made with forced labor in China’s Xinjiang region, where the Chinese government is subjecting the Uyghur people and other ethnic and religious minority groups to human rights violations. These WROs instruct CBP officers at ports of entry to detain:
- All products made with labor from the Lop County No. 4 Vocational Skills Education and Training Center in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China.
- Hair products made in the Lop County Hair Product Industrial Park in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China.
- Apparel produced by Yili Zhuowan Garment Manufacturing Co., Ltd. and Baoding LYSZD Trade and Business Co., Ltd in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China.
- Cotton produced and processed by Xinjiang Junggar Cotton and Linen Co., Ltd. in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China.
- Computer parts made by Hefei Bitland Information Technology Co., Ltd. in Anhui, China.
The WROs are part of CBP’s continued efforts to address forced labor. In FY20, CBP:
- Issued an unprecedented 13 WROs;
- Detained a shipment of Chinese hair products that were made with forced labor which included weaves made with human hair; and
- Issued the first civil penalty for forced labor violations since at least 2015.
CBP’s Enduring Mission Priorities
CBP’s continued success as a threat-based, intelligence and data-driven, operationally-focused enterprise absolutely depends on how well we focus on the five Enduring Mission Priorities. These priorities, which are critical to our efforts to make CBP stronger, more efficient, and more effective, include:
- Counter Terrorism – Anticipate, detect and disrupt the threat of terrorists, their weapons and actions to protect the people and economy of the United States.
- Counter Transnational Crime – Detect, deter and disrupt transnational organized crime that threatens U.S. national and economic security interests at and beyond the border.
- Secure the Border – Protect the Homeland through the air, land and maritime environments against illegal entry, illicit activity or other threats to uphold national sovereignty and promote national and economic security.
- Facilitate Lawful Trade and Protect Revenue – Enable fair, competitive and compliant trade and enforce U.S. laws to ensure safety, prosperity and economic security for the American people.
- Facilitate Lawful Travel – Enhance, enable and transform the travel experience by anticipating, detecting and intercepting threats prior to and at ports of entry.
Watch the Fiscal Year 2020 Operational Update press conference here.