U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) today released operational statistics for June 2021, which can be viewed here.
“We are in the hottest part of the summer, and we are seeing a high number of distress calls to CBP from migrants abandoned in treacherous terrain by smugglers with no regard for human life,” said CBP Acting Commissioner Troy Miller. “Although CBP does everything it can to locate and rescue individuals who are lost or distressed, the bottom line is this: the terrain along the border is extreme, the summer heat is severe, and the miles of desert migrants must hike after crossing the border in many areas are unforgiving.”
CBP Enforcement Numbers
In June 2021, CBP encountered 188,829 persons attempting entry along the Southwest Border. This total represented a five percent increase over May 2021. The large number of expulsions during the pandemic has contributed to a larger-than-usual number of migrants making multiple border crossing attempts, which means that total encounters somewhat overstate the number of unique individuals arriving at the border. Thirty-four percent of encounters in June 2021 were individuals who had at least one prior encounter in the previous 12 months, compared to an average one-year re-encounter rate of 14 percent for Fiscal Years 2014-2019. The number of unique new encounters in June 2021 was 123,838. The number of unique individuals encountered to date during the fiscal year is 454,944 compared to 489,760 during the same time period in 2019.
Single adults continue to make up the majority of these encounters; however, the number of single adults declined three percent from May to June. Last month, CBP expelled 104,907 individuals under Title 42. CBP continues to expel single adults and family units that are encountered pursuant to CDC guidance under Title 42 authority. The majority of all June encounters resulted in a Title 42 expulsion.
Encounters along the Southwest Border of unaccompanied children increased this month by 8 percent, with 15,253 encounters in June 2021 compared with 14,137 in May 2021. Encounters of family unit individuals increased by 25 percent to 55,805 in June 2021, up from 44,746 in May but still well below the peak of 88,587 in May 2019. In 2021, family unit encounters have consistently tracked below 2019 encounters for each month of the year.
CBP enforcement numbers for June 2021 can be found here.
Migrant Protection Protocols Expanded Criteria
On June 1, 2021, Secretary Mayorkas formally terminated the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) program, which returned certain noncitizens to Mexico pending removal proceedings before an immigration judge under Section 240 of the Immigration and Naturalization Act.
This termination does not impact the Department’s ongoing processing of eligible MPP enrollees into the United States. As part of a continued effort to restore safe and orderly processing of individuals seeking to enter the United States, the Department of Homeland Security announced on June 23 that it would expand the pool of MPP-enrolled individuals that may be processed into the United States, to include MPP enrollees who had their cases terminated or were ordered removed in absentia.
Through June 30, 2021, DHS processed more than 12,000 individuals who had been returned to Mexico under MPP.
Unaccompanied Children in Custody
The number of children in CBP custody fell from 5,767 at its peak on March 29 to 832 on June 30, 2021. The average daily number of children in CBP custody for June 2021 was 794. The average time in custody for unaccompanied children fell from 133 hours on March 29 to 28 hours on June 30, 2021.
This sustained progress is a result of the steps DHS took to reengineer processes and mobilize personnel Department-wide, including designating FEMA to lead a whole of government effort to assist the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). This support has included establishing temporary facilities that provide safe, sanitary, and secure environments for unaccompanied children as well as continued support from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services officers to efficiently and effectively verify claimed sponsors to support the reunification process.
Smuggling organizations are abandoning migrants in remote and dangerous areas, leading to a dramatic rise in the number of rescues CBP performs. In Fiscal Year 2021 thru June, CBP conducted 9,500 rescues nationwide, which is 81 percent higher than the total number of rescues in all of Fiscal Year 2020.
Through the Missing Migrant Program (MMP), CBP seeks to prevent deaths, increase rescues of missing migrants, and assist with the identification of decedents. CBP continues to expand its technological capabilities, including deploying rescue beacons that are equipped with lights and signage that are visible to lost and distressed subjects from a distance. By the end of June 2021, CBP had deployed 120 rescue beacons.
In addition, CBP continues to deploy rescue placards that are designed to inform migrants to call 911 and are uniquely numbered giving rescue personnel coordinates to their location. By the end of June 2021, CBP had 2,165 rescue placards in remote areas throughout the Southwest Border.
In April 2021, CBP launched Operation Sentinel, a new counter-network targeting operation focused directly on transnational criminal organizations (TCO) affiliated with smuggling migrants into the United States.
To date, Operation Sentinel partners in the State Department have revoked more than 150 visas associated with TCO members and their associates, preventing these individuals from traveling to the United States and from using their U.S. visas as entry documents in foreign countries. Operation Sentinel has also identified multiple entities for U.S. government-wide suspension and/or debarment, which would preclude TCO members, their affiliates and their associated businesses from Federal programs. The operation has also worked with foreign partners to freeze overseas accounts, curbing TCOs’ ability to send and receive the financial proceeds of their illicit activities.
Guatemala Advisory Assistance
In partnership with the Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, CBP is supporting the United States’ initiative to address the root causes of irregular migration from Central America. In coordination with the Vice President of the United States’ visit to Guatemala, CBP personnel deployed to Guatemala in early June to provide advisory and capacity-building expertise to the Government of Guatemala in order to improve border security efforts, target human smuggling groups, and enhance trade and customs modernization.
Collaboration with the Government of Mexico
CBP continues to collaborate with the Government of Mexico on border security matters, irregular migration flows, and efforts to enhance bilateral information sharing, targeting, and mentoring. On June 29, CBP hosted an engagement at the National Targeting Center between Acting Commissioner Miller and a delegation from the Mexican Embassy led by Ambassador Esteban Moctezuma Barragán to discuss dynamic information and knowledge sharing to identify, disrupt, and manage cross-border risks. CBP continues to engage Government of Mexico counterparts to share information and jointly target human smuggling networks and transnational criminal organizations.
CBP officers, Border Patrol agents, and Air and Marine Operations agents continue to interdict the flow of illicit narcotics across the border. Nationwide, drug seizures were down 30 percent in June from May 2021. Cocaine interceptions increased 36 percent. Seizures of methamphetamine decreased 22 percent. Seizures of heroin decreased 16 percent, and seizures of fentanyl increased 12 percent. CBP continues to see a surge in fentanyl seizures; seizures in Fiscal Year 2021 through June are 78 percent higher than all of Fiscal Year 2020.
Additional CBP drug seizure statistics can be found here.
CBP COVID-19 Response
The safety of our workforce, our communities, and individuals in our care is a top priority. CBP personnel put themselves and their families at risk with every encounter at the border. Since the start of the pandemic, more than 8,900 CBP employees have tested positive for COVID-19, and 33 have passed away. CBP is continuing to explore possible adjustments to workforce posture and health protocols based on widespread vaccine access and easing public health metrics.
CBP continues to aggressively investigate and prevent goods made by forced labor from entering U.S. commerce. Forced labor is a form of modern-day slavery that violates international labor standards and universal human rights. It can include abuses such as physical and sexual violence, withholding of wages, and debt bondage. Foreign companies use forced labor to produce goods at lower costs, which hurts American businesses that respect fair labor standards.
In June, CBP issued a Withhold Release Order to prevent the importation of silica-based products made with forced labor by the Chinese firm Hoshine Silicon Industry Co. Ltd. and its subsidiaries. Silica is a mineral that goes into metallurgic and other silicon materials, electronic components, solar panels, and a variety of other products. Hoshine and its subsidiaries operate in multiple regions in China, including the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, where the Chinese government continues to subject the Uyghur people and other ethnic and religious minorities to human rights abuses including mass arbitrary imprisonment, forced sterilization, rape, and unlawful killings.
CBP has issued five other Withhold Release Orders in Fiscal Year 2021 to protect American consumers and businesses from goods made by forced labor. Those orders target cotton products and tomato products from Xinjiang; palm oil from a Malaysian company; and tuna and other seafood harvested by a Chinese fishing fleet and a Taiwan-flagged fishing vessel. The United States will not tolerate forced labor in our supply chains and will always stand up against cruel and inhumane labor practices.