U.S. Customs and Border Protection released the agency’s July 2019 migration statistics today. In July, CBP apprehended or encountered 82,049 individuals who crossed the border illegally or were deemed inadmissible at Southwest border ports of entry, pushing the fiscal year to-date (FYTD) enforcement actions on the Southwest border to 862,785.
Overall, the July enforcement numbers indicate a 21% decrease from last month and a 43% decrease from May. However, the numbers continue to hover around 103% more border enforcement actions than the same time last year.
Geographically, the majority of migrants crossing the Southern border continue to come from the Northern Triangle (El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras) and Mexico; however, CBP saw a 26% decrease in enforcement actions from those countries in July.
CBP attributes the current drop to efforts made by both Mexico and Guatemala, as well as policies such as Migrant Protection Protocol, increased interior enforcement, and the Interim Final Rule.
In July, U.S. Border Patrol apprehended 71,999 individuals on the Southwest border, bringing the total apprehensions on the Southwest border to 760,370 this year. In the previous seven years, the highest fiscal year total of apprehensions was 479,371 in 2014.
“There has been discussion of a seasonal drop that tends to occur as a result of the hot summer temperatures,” said CBP Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan. “From June to July last year we saw a drop in apprehensions of only 7%. That is significantly lower than this year’s 21% drop, which I believe is a testament to the impact of increased cooperation with Mexico and Guatemala. Importantly, they are recognizing that this is a regional crisis, not just a U.S. crisis.”
While there was a decrease in apprehensions between ports of entry, the number of individuals deemed inadmissible at ports of entry increased slightly in July, from 9,459 to 10,050.
The continued impacts of the crisis to legitimate trade and travel cannot be overstated. CBP still has some 400 officers from ports of entry assigned to the Southwest border to assist Border Patrol with processing the surge of migrants being apprehended. Furthermore, Border Patrol Agents continue to dedicate approximately 40-60% of their time away from their frontline positions on the border to manage the humanitarian crisis.