Illegal immigration hits 21-year high

Customs and Border Patrol encountered 178,622 people crossing the border into the United States in April.

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

Numbers released by the Customs and Border Patrol Tuesday, highlighted the highest number of immigrants coming across the southwest border of the United States in 21 years, following the hectic crisis that happened in March.

The CBP encountered 178,622 people crossing the border into the United States in April. This marks a three percent increase over March 2021 and the highest number of encounters in a single month since April of 2000, when where CBP encountered 182,613 people crossing the border, according to the New York Post.

In contrast to March where CBP apprehended 15,918 unaccompanied children at the border, unaccompanied migrant minors from northern triangle countries dropped 12 percent to 13,962 encounters in April.

The average number of children in CBP custody had also dropped from March 2021, from 4,109 children to 2,895. CBP reports that as of May 11, 2021, just 455 children were in CBP custody.

The average hours a child spent in CBP custody drastically dropped as well, from 115 hours, which was well over the 72 hour legal limit, to just 28 hours in April.

The increase seen in April is driven mainly by the increase in single adults crossing the border, with an 11.2 percent increase over March. 111,714 people were apprehended in April in contrast to 100,104 in March.

According to CBP, they are continuing to expel single adults and families under Title 42 restrictions.

"CBP continues to see a large influx of illegal migration along the Southwest Border," said CBP Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Commissioner Troy Miller.

"In order to disrupt criminal organizations that have little regard for human life, CBP is leading the way alongside external law enforcement partners through Operational Sentinel. Day after day, CBP rescues migrants abandoned in harsh terrain, left for dead with no food or water. CBP is committed to enhancing the security of the U.S. border and helping save the lives of vulnerable migrants."

According to CBP, Operation Sentinal is a multi-agency effort to stop smuggling across the southern border.

CBP also noted that "Nationwide, drug seizures were up 6 percent in April from March 2021. Cocaine interceptions decreased 41 percent. Seizures of methamphetamine decreased 16 percent. Seizures of heroin increased 97 percent and seizures of fentanyl increased 34 percent. So far in Fiscal Year 2021, fentanyl seizures have already surpassed those from all of Fiscal Year 2020, with 6,494 through April 2021 compared to 4,776 for all of Fiscal Year 2020."

Meanwhile, officials representing states on the border, who are facing the brunt of this historic influx, have continued to slam the Biden Administration for its response to the southern border crisis.

"I've been down to the border, Douglas and Yuma. I've talked to sheriffs and mayors, and the two sector chiefs and their leadership teams. We've got a problem. The federal government has failed on this issue for decades now. Washington has to do better, and Arizonans are fed up. So, I'm just going to call it like I see it," Arizona Senator Mark Kelly told reporters last week.


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