EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – Border agents say they’re dealing with a three-fold increase in migrant encounters in the El Paso Sector so far this year. The spike spans all ages and family statuses.
The U.S. Border Patrol has recorded 135,326 migrant encounters in the fiscal year 2021, up to June 30. Of those, 104,208 were single adults, 15,241 were traveling as a family and 15,877 were unaccompanied minors. In all of fiscal 2020, the El Paso Sector came across 39,006 single adults, 10,555 family units and 4,835 unaccompanied children. Three months are left in the current fiscal year.
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In a news release, the federal agency said the El Paso Sector “is on pace to meet or exceed the record numbers from the “Migrant Crisis” in fiscal 2019.” That equates to 182,143 families, singles and minors crossing the border alone.
Most migrants encountered in the sector are coming from Mexico, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras and Cuba. Almost four out of five single adults apprehended this year are from Mexico, tried to evade arrest and were not seeking asylum, the Border Patrol said.
Citizens of Mexico since at least 2016 are by far the largest number of single adults trying to cross the Southwest border without authorization, U.S. Customs and Border Protection stats show.
In a State of the Sector summary, the Border Patrol said it has detained 1,815 people so far this year found in 195 illegal stash houses in the El Paso sector, which includes all Southern New Mexico.
Agents have also seized more than 5,000 pounds of marijuana, 600 pounds of methamphetamine, 300 pounds of cocaine, more than 40 pounds of fentanyl and more than 30 pounds of heroin.
“Due to the historic pace of encounters in fiscal year 2021, agents have been involved in 245 rescues, 20 (deceased migrants found), and 36 sector agents have been assaulted,” the agency said.