Historic Pace Enters Third Month
A record number of people, the highest in modern data-keeping, attempted to cross the U.S. southern border last month.
Here are the latest numbers.
The Numbers: May 2021
- Overall, 180,034 people attempted entry along the SW border - highest single-month number in approx. two decades.
- May's overall figures are a slight increase (less than 1%) compared to April (178,000+).
- May's figures reflect a 78% increase compared to February when the higher trend started, a 675% increase vs. May 2020 (w/borders closed due to COVID-19), and a 25% increase compared to May 2019 (the last record number of 144,000+ before the surge began this February).
What Happens At The Border:
When someone is "encountered" and apprehended by U.S. Customs & Border Patrol:
- Majority Expelled: 62% of the 180,000+, or roughly 111,000 people, were expelled.
- Some Remain: Some remain in U.S. govt. custody (such as unaccompanied minors or those wanted for crimes).
- Released: Others are processed (information taken by the U.S. govt.) and later released on bond or parole in the U.S. (e.g., those applying for asylum).
A Notable Increase:
"The large number of expulsions during the pandemic has contributed to a larger-than-usual number of noncitizens making multiple border crossing attempts, and means total encounters somewhat overstate the number of unique individuals arriving at the border."
CBP says 38% (roughly 4 out of 10) people apprehended at the U.S. border had *at least one* previous encounter within the past year. This is *more than double* the average number of people attempting to cross the border after a previous attempt compared to 2014 to 2019.
A Notable Decline:
The number of unaccompanied minors (those 17 and younger traveling without a parent or legal guardian) declined compared to previous months, but is still a 19% increase from the last record number in May 2019.
Jun 10, 2021
“CBP Announces May 2021 Operational Update” - https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/national-media-release/cbp-announces-may-2021-operational-update
“Southwest Land Border Encounters” -https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/stats/southwest-land-border-encounters
Southwest Border Migration Fiscal Year 2019 - https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/stats/sw-border-migration/fy-2019
April Border Data - https://www.smarthernews.com/quick_reads/20210513-april-border-data/
March Border Data - https://www.smarthernews.com/quick_reads/20210409-border-data-march-2021/