If the February border numbers were unprecedented, the March border numbers appear to be unfathomable. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has published the March border numbers, which reflect a “system-wide emergency” in the view of top border officials. “The impacts to legitimate trade and travel cannot be overstated,” said CBP Deputy Commissioner Robert E. Perez in a statement. “As this crisis continues to worsen, it undermines CBP’s ability to perform its dual mission of protecting our borders and facilitating legitimate trade and travel.”
Here are nine shocking statistics from the March data and the cumulative numbers of illegal aliens and family units crossing this fiscal year.
103,492: The total number of illegal aliens and inadmissible aliens apprehended at and between points of entry in the month of March. That is the highest monthly number since April 2007. But as former Border Patrol head Mark Morgan told the Senate Homeland Security Committee last week, last decade, “1/3 of those apprehended were repeat offenders so the realistic number of migrant apprehensions was well below what’s reflected.” As such, it’s likely that this month is at or near an all-time record.
1.2 million: How many in a year if March’s pace continues. But Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) predicts that with the weather getting warmer over the next few months and the incentives for illegal immigration unaddressed, the numbers will grow larger. The first week of April seems to indicate this.
$168-180 billion: The lifetime cost of 1.2 million illegal aliens per year, using the input and methodology of the Center for Immigration Studies’ Steven Camarota to calculate the cost of illegal aliens to the American taxpayer.
57,271: A record number of family unit apprehensions (number of people apprehended with family members) in March. That beats the record we just set last month by a whopping 40 percent. That is more than three times as large as the first Central American wave at the peak of the 2014 migration during Obama’s tenure. Even just the unaccompanied minors (who are often split off from family units for strategic reasons) totaled 9,398, which in its own right rivals all but the two busiest months of the 2014 UAC surge, which was without the family units.
189,584: The number of family unit apprehensions between points of entry for the first six months of fiscal year 2019. This far surpasses the numbers for any previous full year.
218,645: The number of family unit apprehensions between points of entry since Judge Dana Sabraw ruled last July that all parents or adults brought with children must be released with the children. During that last nine months, as many family units have been apprehended as in the previous 33 months.
4,647%: The percentage increase in monthly family unit apprehensions between points of entry since the low of the “Trump effect” in April 2017 through February 2019. There’s been a 370 percent increase in family units for the first half of this fiscal year compared with the first half of FY 2018.
422,334: The total number of illegal aliens and inadmissible immigrants, including single adults, who have been caught at our border. That is almost twice the rate of last year, which in itself was a dramatic increase from FY 2017.
104: The number of large groups, defined as 100 or more, coming in at once to surrender to border agents and shutting down their resources. There were 13 such groups in FY 2018, mainly in the latter part of the year when this phenomenon began. It was almost unheard of in previous years.
One of the surprising data points from this month is the surge in single adults in addition to family units. While two-thirds of the illegal immigrants were family units or unaccompanied minors, the number of single adults increased in raw numbers by 30 percent over February. This is likely the result of the family units filling up the detention centers to such a point that even the single adults are being released for a lack of space. This has likely incentivized even those who can’t find a child to use as a ticket into the country to make the trek and try their luck at the border.
Yesterday, I presented 10 ways to disincentivize the border flow. But it is self-evident that unless the administration changes tactics, we have not reached rock bottom at the border yet.
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.