CBP figures show officers made 54,771 apprehensions along the Mexican border last month, the highest total for September since 2006. The figure is for arrests, not separate individuals, and CBP figures show that the number of people who repeat trafficking is called the recidivism rate has climbed to 37% since the deportation policy began in late March. Last year the recidivism rate was 7%.
As economic conditions worsen in Mexico and across the Western Hemisphere due to covid, brace yourselves, said Mark Morgan, senior CBP official serving as interim commissioner, speaking to reporters in Tucson and noting that the overwhelming majority of people trying to enter the country are now doing so for economic reasons. Already seeing the numbers increase.
In fiscal 2020, which ended September 30, CBP recorded 458,088 arrests and detentions, a 53% drop from 2019, when nearly one million migrants were taken into custody at seen during a record increase in Central American families and children crossing the US border.
These families generally surrendered to border officials after crossing to seek humanitarian protection or lodge asylum claims. Today, the majority of cross-border commuters are once again single Mexican adults, and they are much more likely to try to sneak into the country by hiding in vehicles or traveling through remote desert and mountainous areas, a trend that increased the number of migrants who died while trying to reach the United States.
CBP officials have acknowledged that the recidivism rate now exceeds 50% in some urban areas.
Our recidivism has increased significantly, but it is very specific geographically, said Rodney Scott, head of the border patrol, who described the trend as an acceptable compromise with an enforcement and prosecution model that would potentially expose more people to the novel. . coronavirus. We were surrendering people very, very quickly, but our ability and our willingness, if you will, to pursue people, to impact on illegal border crossing activity, was reduced.
Scott said the approach to avoid the risk of courts, prisons and detention centers being hit by potential coronavirus outbreaks involves a bit more risk in the realm of people being returned likely to try. to come back.
Andrew Meehan, who served as spokesperson for CBP and the Department of Homeland Security until last year, said the increase in apprehensions was another sign that migration trends were often driven by gaps in l enforcement of US laws and pressure factors such as poverty and violence.
The consequence of these discrepancies is increased recidivism rates and more dangerous and expensive human trafficking methods, such as semi-trailers or crossing more isolated areas far from the border, Meehan said. A holistic approach to border security with congressional action that extends beyond the US border and includes regional partnerships with Mexico and Central America is what is needed.
Morgan defended the administration’s deportation policy, which suspends normal immigration procedures and the ability for migrants seeking humanitarian protections to access U.S. courts.
Morgan said the pandemic-related measures will remain in place until the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention orders CBP to lift them. The Wall Street Journal reported this month that the White House and immigration law enforcement officials had ordered CDC officials to order border restrictions, which CDC officials did not have not found it necessary.
Adam Isacson, security analyst at the Washington office on Latin America, an advocacy organization, noted that despite the increase in recent months, border arrests remain low compared to decades. The 400,651 arrests recorded by the border patrol last year were the sixth lowest total for a year since 1972.
Isacson noted that the shift from families seeking asylum to single adults trying to escape capture makes the journey more deadly for migrants.
Since migrants who do not seek asylum tend to seek to avoid apprehension, we can expect more migrants to take very dangerous desert routes, where they are at greater risk of dying from dehydration. and exposure on American soil, he said.
DHS officials say the increase in crossings through remote areas and truck trailer smuggling incidents are a direct result of Border Barrier Trumps. Construction crews have traveled more than 360 miles of new fencing since Trump took office, according to the latest figures, which DHS officials say give them an advantage in law enforcement smugglers’ organizations.
CBP banned 276 tractor-trailers that were involved in smuggling operations last year, making 4,589 arrests, a 36% increase from the previous year, according to agency figures. The number of banned boats attempting to land on southern California beaches jumped 82% last year. We were getting busier and busier on the water now, said Dennis Michellini, chief of air and maritime operations at CBP.
CBP officials have also recorded major changes in drug seizures. The amount of cocaine confiscated has fallen by 43% last year and heroin by 7%.
Conversely, methamphetamine seizures jumped 25% and fentanyl seizures by 71%, fueled by demand for the potent, compact opioid and the benefit of its concealment from traffickers.
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