By: The Epoch Times
DEL RIO, Texas—Border Patrol agents apprehended 211,972 illegal immigrants along the southern border in April, according to preliminary Customs and Border Protection (CBP) numbers obtained by The Epoch Times.
The number of apprehensions are markedly higher than any April on record, including during the past 10 years when apprehensions ranged from a low of 11,000 in 2017 to 99,273 in 2019—up until last year when April hit 173,701.
The CBP statistics also indicate that more than 58,000 illegal immigrants evaded apprehension in April, with Tucson, Arizona, and Del Rio, Texas, being the two busiest sectors for “gotaways.”
The April numbers show a continued increase in illegal crossings for each month this year. In total, Border Patrol has apprehended more than 728,000 illegal aliens along the southern border since January.
Most of those apprehensions occur in Texas, which has seen 448,285 Border Patrol arrests since January.
Agents are bracing for an even higher influx as the Biden administration prepares to end Title 42 expulsions on May 23. The Title 42 public health provision allowed for quick expulsion of non-essential travelers at U.S. borders to curb the pandemic.
A Border Patrol agent drops a group of illegal immigrants being expelled under Title 42 at the halfway point of the international bridge between the United States and Mexico, in Eagle Pass, Texas, on April 19, 2022. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has warned agents to expect up to 18,000 apprehensions per day in the coming months. Currently, agents are apprehending about 7,000 illegal aliens per day along the southern border.
DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas defended his handling of the border in congressional hearings last week.
He told the House Judiciary Committee on April 28 that his department “has been executing a comprehensive strategy to secure our borders and rebuild our immigration system.”
Mayorkas said his agency has “operational control” of the border, despite reaching record high numbers of illegal border crossings and releases of illegal immigrants into the United States.
A group of Hondurans cross the Rio Grande toward Eagle Pass, Texas, from Piedras Negras, Mexico, on April 21, 2022. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)
Mayorkas confirmed on May 1 that approximately 1.4 million illegal border crossers have evaded capture or been released into the United States since Biden took office in 2021.
“It is the objective of the Biden administration to make sure that we have safe, legal, and orderly pathways for individuals to be able to access our legal system,” Mayrokas told Bret Baier on Fox News when asked if the objective is to sharply reduce illegal immigration.
The highest number of apprehensions recorded in a fiscal year since the formation of the Border Patrol was 1.69 million in fiscal 1986. This year is on track to hit well beyond that record, with a current 1.2 million apprehensions and five months to go.