CBP: Far fewer migrant families, unaccompanied children came across the border in October

Border Report Tour

Single adults still make up the bulk of illegal migration and their number fell only modestly; seizures of fentanyl and meth continue to skyrocket

A U.S. Border Patrol agent instructs unaccompanied teenagers as they prepare to board transport to a processing center after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border on August 13, 2021 in La Joya, Texas. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – Far fewer migrant families came across the border with Mexico without authorization last month, U.S. Customs and Border Protection data shows.

The number of unaccompanied migrant children also fell by double digits, while the bulk of the illegal migration into the United States – single adults – dropped a modest 4 percent, government figures show.

“October marks the third straight month of declining unauthorized migrant encounters along the Southwest border — with particularly sharp drops in families and unaccompanied children – and CBP’s workforce continues to work with partners across the federal government and throughout the hemisphere to disrupt the smugglers intent on exploiting vulnerable migrants for profit,” said CBP Acting Commissioner Troy Miller.

No explanation was given for the overall 14 percent drop in migrant encounters in October compared to September.

About 94,000 encounters, more than 57% of the total, were processed for expulsion under Title 42; 70,627 encounters were processed under Title 8.

The numbers

CBP reported a total of 164,303 encounters along the Southwest border, a 14% decrease compared to September. Of those, 29% involved individuals who had at least one prior encounter in the past year. Fifty-seven percent of the migrants encountered last month were sent back to Mexico under Title 42 public health order. That’s 93,676 individuals.

Two-thirds (66%) of the encounters were single adults, with 108,583 encounters in October. That represents a 4 percent decrease compared to September, CBP said.

Encounters of unaccompanied children decreased 11 percent, with 12,807 instances in October compared with 14,358 in September. In October, the average number of unaccompanied children in CBP custody was 595 per day, compared with an average of 772 per day in September.

Encounters of family units decreased a whopping 34 percent from 64,388 in September to 42,726 in October— which is less than half the peak of 86,631 in August 2021, CBP said.

The agency said the U.S. government is engaged in discussions with the Republic of Mexico to address “irregular migrant flows,” information sharing and joint actions against transnational criminal organizations engaged in human, weapons and drug smuggling.

CBP also reports huge decreases in cocaine and heroin seizures at the border in October, but also equally large increases in methamphetamine and fentanyl seizures.

The agency says cocaine seizures are down 64 percent and heroin down 49 percent. Meth seizures were up 41 percent and fentanyl seizures up 42 percent.

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