In June, amid a worldwide pandemic, U.S. Customs and Border Protection had 65% fewer encounters with people attempting to enter the country without authorization, according to new CBP statistics.
In June, CBP made contact with 30,300 single adults, families and unaccompanied children around ports of entry and another 2,212 were denied entry into the country at a port of entry after being declared “inadmissible,” the numbers show.
That’s a 65% decrease over the FY19 June numbers; when CBP reported more than 104,000 encounters, also made up of single adults, families and unaccompanied children.
For the Rio Grande Valley sector, there was a more than 70% drop in unaccompanied minors encountered at the border, while the encounters of families dropped nearly 95%, year over year in June — with more than 165,000 families arriving last June to only about 9,495 this June, the data shows.
The number of families and unaccompanied children has dwindled after seeing a surge in FY19, when Central American families began surrendering at and around ports of entry on the U.S.-Mexican border.
Of the more than 30,000 encounters, more than 80% or 27,000 were encounters, were of single male adults from Mexico, the statistics show.
But though they make up the majority of those encountered in June, the 27,000 number is still lower than FY19, when more than 30,000 single adult males were encountered at the Southwest border.
“While the number of encounters last month are not a surprise, this increase is still extremely concerning as we continue to battle the invisible enemy: COVID-19,” CBP Acting Commissioner Mark A. Morgan said in a prepared release Thursday.
In March, CBP officials announced a change to its operations in an effort to protect its personnel amid the growing concern over COVID-19.
Agents who encounter people attempting to enter the country without authorization between ports of entry, will process them at a mobile processing unit out in the field, and immediately expel them from the country through the nearest port of entry.
The only exception would be for anyone who has a prior aggravated criminal offense, and is deemed to be a “threat to the U.S. and or Mexico,” CBP officials said during a conference call in March.
Those people will be arrested, and taken in to be processed at a detention center.
Since then, CBP has reported thousands of Title 8 apprehensions, and Title 42 expulsions, the latter of which relates to “communicable diseases.”
CBP reported 189,937 Title 8 apprehensions, and 69,210 Title 42 expulsions, nearly 260,000 total “enforcement actions,” on the Southwest border since March.
Despite the overall steep drop from last year — 65% fewer total encounters, President Trump said on Friday, without evidence, that the country would be “inundated” with the coronavirus if the administration had not constructed “new” barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border.