U.S. Customs and Border Protection released its Fiscal Year 2019 southwest border migration statistics during a press conference earlier this week near the Paso Del Norte Port of Entry in El Paso, Texas.
CBP personnel took more than 1.1 million enforcement actions nationwide in Fiscal Year 2019, a 68 percent increase over the preceding year. The surge in enforcement actions was driven largely by activity on the southwest border, where CBP personnel:
- Apprehended 851,508 migrants between ports of entry, including a record-breaking 473,683 family units;
- Encountered a record 126,001 inadmissible individuals at ports of entry; and
- Rescued more than 4,900 migrants.
CBP addressed the unprecedented migration flows in part by constructing 76 miles of new border wall system in partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. An additional 156 miles of wall are currently under construction, with 276 miles in the preconstruction process.
CBP’s accomplishments did not end at the southwest border. Nationwide, the agency arrested 976 gang members and seized increased quantities of contraband, including:
- Nearly 101,000 pounds of cocaine (a 73% increase over Fiscal Year 2018);
- Nearly 2,800 pounds of fentanyl (a 30% increase);
- More than 83,000 pounds of methamphetamine (a 23% increase);
- $75 million of illicit currency (a 7% increase); and
- Almost 3,000 illicit weapons (a more than 150% increase).
CBP Air and Marine Operations contributed to the seizure or disruption of an additional 285,000 pounds of cocaine in the transit zone.
Furthermore, CBP hiring outpaced attrition in Fiscal Year 2019. The agency hired a total of 3,348 law enforcement personnel, an increase of 46% over the previous fiscal year.