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Data shows a slight increase in U.S. border apprehensions and a drop in children encounters

Border wall AP
Posted at 6:14 PM, May 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-12 22:00:00-04

Over 178,000 people were encountered at the southwest border in April, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s data. The new data shows a slight increase from March driven mainly by the number of single adults stopped by Border Patrol.

Single adult apprehensions went from 100,000 encounters in March to 108,000 in April.

So, what’s driving the increase in single adult apprehensions?

“What’s interesting in the data is that when we look at when Title-42 began to be enforced, we see a 613% increase in apprehensions for single adults from that time period to today,” said ABC15 data analyst, Garret Archer.

Title-42 began in March 2020, the policy was implemented under President Trump to stop the spread of COVID-19.

According to CBP, 62% of those single adults apprehended in April were expelled back to Mexico under this policy. At the same time, the number of kids crossing the border without their parents dropped.

In March CBP reported that Border Patrol agents had encountered 18,800 unaccompanied children; today's numbers are quite different.

“According to Customs and Border Protection numbers, the number of unaccompanied children apprehended by U.S Customs and Border Protection is at about just over 17,100 it represents about a 1,700 drop, and that's about 10%,” said Archer.

An analysis by ABC15 shows a consistent pattern, apprehension numbers at the border usually grow from December to March. Such a pattern goes back as far as 20 years.

Meanwhile in Nogales, Santa Cruz County Sheriff David Hathaway says the numbers alone don’t tell the full story about what’s really happening at the border.

“If you assume that it keeps going the same pace until the end of the year, which it probably won't, it will get slightly over a million. 1.1 million, but that's nothing out of the ordinary, that was happening practically every year in the 80’s and in the 90’s into the 2000's,” stated Hathaway.

His numbers match with ABC15’s data analysis.

“Based on the CBP’s numbers, if we take the average of what we've seen in apprehensions, it looks like we're going to get to about 1.4 million by the end of the fiscal year, which would be September. That is far higher than what we've seen in the later 2000’s. In 2000 in fact it was about 1.6 million apprehensions. There’s actually 19 times since 1960 that the number of apprehensions was over 1 million and most of those did occur in the 90’s and the 80’s,” said Archer.

Santa Cruz County Sheriff says there’s no border crisis, but Arizona governor Doug Ducey disagrees. He signed a letter Tuesday along with other 19 governors asking to end the border crisis.

Only two of the 19 governors signing this letter are from border states. Hathaway says Governor Ducey has not once visited his county this year.

“I tried to get a meeting so I could tell him about the reality versus the hype of what’s happening here at the border, but my meeting was declined,” said Hathaway.

As for the number of children in border patrol custody, back in March there were more than 5,000 children held for about five days in overcrowding conditions. CBP says today that number has dropped to less than 500 kids and that they’re spending less than 28 hours in border patrol’s custody.

But data obtained by the Associated Press this week reveals the federal government has 21,000 kids housed across the U.S. in facilities like shelters, hotels, and emergency military sites.