U.S. Border Patrol officials in a news release Tuesday stated that agents in the Rio Grande Valley sector apprehended the largest group encountered in the Granjeno area so far this year.
“This morning, just after midnight, McAllen agents working near Granjeno, Texas, responded to a report of a large group of suspected illegal aliens walking toward the river levee,” the release stated. “As agents responded, they observed hundreds of people consisting of family units and unaccompanied children cross the river levee.”
Border Patrol agents took nearly 300 undocumented persons into custody and transported them to a local detention center where they were set to be processed.
In all, Border Patrol agents have arrested more than 1,000 undocumented persons within the last 24 hours, the release stated.
Last month, Border Patrol agents in the RGV sector apprehended more than 14,000 family units and more than 2,900 unaccompanied children.
The agency reported that in February of fiscal year 2019, there were a total of 66,450 apprehensions at the southwest border — 36,174 consisting of family units and 6,825 unaccompanied minors.
Of that 66,450 figure, the RGV sector accounted for 25,355 of those total apprehensions, 14,448 family units and 2,904 unaccompanied children, according to the agency’s website.
Though far fewer people are being apprehended attempting to enter the country illegally, the number of family units apprehended at the border has increased from fiscal year 2017 when Border Patrol agents apprehended 75,802 family units, to fiscal year 2018, which saw the apprehension of 107,212 family units.
That trend continues as year-to-date numbers indicate the number of family unit and unaccompanied children apprehensions rising over fiscal year 2018 numbers.
From the start of the current fiscal year from October 2018 to February 2019, Border Patrol on the southwest border reported family unit apprehensions compared to the same four-month period in the previous fiscal year increased from 31,100 to 136,150 — a more than 330-percent increase. During the same time frame, the agency also reported that unaccompanied children apprehensions also rose from 17,501 to 26,937, an increase of more than 50 percent.
Specifically in the RGV sector, which is one of the nine that encompasses the southwest border, including Big Bend, Del Rio, El Centro, El Paso, Laredo, San Diego, Tucson and Yuma, there was a 27-percent increase in family unit apprehensions from 49,896 apprehensions in fiscal year 2017 to 63,278 apprehensions in fiscal year 2018.
In the RGV sector, family unit apprehension numbers show a more than 200-percent increase from the first four months of fiscal year 2018 compared to the aforementioned time period of the current fiscal year, with 58,032 family unit apprehensions in 2019 and 18,788 in 2018.
Unaccompanied children apprehensions for the same four-month period in the RGV sector have increased 47 percent, with 11,591 apprehensions through February compared with 7,877 apprehensions during the same period of time last year.
In fiscal year 2018, Border Patrol recorded 396,579 total apprehensions between ports of entry on the southwest border, an increase of over 2017’s fiscal year apprehensions of 303,916, according to the agency’s website.
Of those 396,579 individuals, 107,212 were family unit apprehensions and 50,036 were unaccompanied children.
The 396,579 total apprehensions on the southwest border is still nowhere near the number of apprehensions reported almost 20 years ago, when Border Patrol officials recorded 1,516,680 apprehensions in fiscal year 1998.