Arrests of migrants illegally crossing the border between ports of entry in October jumped 87 percent over the same month last year. The numbers also increased 21 percent compared to last month, CBP officials report.
U.S. Border Patrol agents working along the southwest border with Mexico arrested 66,337 migrants in October, according to the Southwest Border Migration Report released by CBP officials on Thursday afternoon. This represents an increase of more than 87 percent compared to the same month last year and a 21 percent increase over September.
The arrest of migrants illegally crossing the border from Mexico increased in each of the last six months from a low of 16,182 in April. This represents an increase of 310 percent from the April low.
Acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan told reporters on Thursday that the migrants coming to the United States during the pandemic puts the lives of all Americans at risk.
Morgan blamed the increased illegal border crossings on worsening economic conditions in Mexico and Central America along with a perceived upcoming change of policy due to the presidential election.
The commissioner said the migrants coming to the U.S. during the pandemic “recklessly disregarded our pain, our suffering, and our sacrifice” in regards to our efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19.
“They’re telling us that their wants and needs are more important than your lives,” Morgan stated. “They’re telling us their own economic conditions are more important than the lives of American citizens and all of those they come in contact with during their deadly journey.”
The commissioner described the journey taken by these migrants through COVID hot spots and under unhealthy conditions.
“They go through high COVID locations, often packed and jammed in overcrowded stash houses both in the United States and/or in Mexico,” he explained, “or locked in tractor-trailers for days or often weeks. A journey in which they completely disregard even the most basic medical guidance to mitigate the spread of the deadly disease.”
“The smugglers, they could care less about the migrants,” Morgan stated. “They could care less about their well being, their lives, or that these conditions serve as active COVID-19 incubators resulting in the further introduction and spread of COVID-19 within the United States.”
Compared to October 2019, the apprehension of Unaccompanied Alien Children jumped by 63 percent. The arrest of single adults, mostly from Mexico, jumped by 150 percent. Only the arrest of migrant families fell in a year-to-year comparison.
Of the 66,337 migrants arrested in October, single adults from Mexico accounted for 38,681. Most of the remainder came from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.
The Rio Grande Valley Sector in South Texas continued to lead the nation in the apprehension of migrants illegally entering the U.S. between ports of entry with 17,574 of the 66,337 arrested.
The increases in arrest come in spite of a policy implemented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that expels more than 90 percent of those migrants arrested — mostly within two hours of their apprehension.