On April 5, 2017, the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published its border apprehension statistics along the Southwest border for March of 2017 [link]. In a recent post, I discussed the sharp decline in apprehensions along the Southwest border in both February and March of 2017 [see blog]. In this post, we will look at some of the specific numbers and charts provided by the DHS.
Detailed Statistics for March 2017
In March of 2017, the CBP apprehended 12,193 individuals between ports of entry on the Southwest Border. This represented a marked decrease from the 18,754 apprehended in February and the 31,577 apprehended in January. It was an even starker drop from the first three months of fiscal year 2017 (October, November, and December), which saw 46,183, 47,213, and 43,250 apprehensions, respectively. Of the 12,193 individuals apprehended between ports of entry, 1,043 were unaccompanied alien children and 1,125 were family units. In February, the numbers were 1,914 and 3,124 respectively.
For a detailed breakdown, please see the following chart provided by the CBP [link]:
FY 2017 MAR
FY 2017 MAR
FY 2017 MAR
In March, the CBP found 4,407 people presenting themselves at ports of entry on the Southwest Border to be inadmissible. This was down from 4,808 in February and 10,895 in January. In the first three months of fiscal year 2017, 20,529, 16,152, and 15,177, respectively, were found to be inadmissible. Of the 4,407 individuals deemed to be inadmissible at the Southwest border in March, 122 were unaccompanied alien children and 764 were family units. These numbers were down from 264 and 1,053 respectively in February.
Comparing to Previous Years
In March of 2017, 16,600 individuals were apprehended or deemed inadmissible along the Southwest Border. As I discussed in my recent blog post, this represents the lowest number of individuals apprehended or deemed inadmissible along the Southwest border in at least the previous 17 years. It marks a 30% decrease from February 2017 and a 64% decrease from March of 2016. For reference, we have reproduced the following chart from the CBP's news release which shows the number of individuals apprehended or deemed inadmissible along the Southwest Border in each month going back to fiscal year 2012:
The chart shows that fiscal year 2017 began with high numbers of apprehensions along the Southwest border in October, November, and December of 2016. The number of apprehensions plummeted in both February and March of 2017. The trend is all the more interesting when we note that in each of the previous five fiscal years, there were more people apprehended in March than in February.
The decreasing number of apprehensions along the Southwest border in February and March of 2017 is a promising sign. However, it remains to be seen if these low numbers indicate a long-term trend or just a short-term blip. We will continue to update the website with more information about border security and related immigration issues going forward.