More than 185,000 illegal immigrant arrests were made at the U.S.–Mexico border in August, according to provisional U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) statistics obtained by The Epoch Times.
Some 186,424 apprehensions were made by border agents during the month.
Most arrests—about 53,400—took place in the Del Rio sector, an area of 55,063 square miles in Texas, including 245 miles along the Rio Grande River and Lake Amistad at the border.
The arrests are down slightly from August 2021, when CBP agents made 196,514 arrests. They’re up significantly from August 2020, when fewer than 48,000 arrests were recorded, and August 2019, when just 50,684 arrests were made.
Apprehensions made by the Office of Field Operations, another subagency within the Department of Homeland Security, aren’t included in the provisional count. The subagency has made an average of approximately 13,000 arrests per month at the southern border over the past 10 months.
The number of apprehensions of illegal immigrants at the border has skyrocketed under President Joe Biden, reaching record levels.
Biden, a Democrat, has received criticism for ending or loosening key Trump-era initiatives, such as construction of the border wall and the program that forced many asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico until their claims were heard.
Critics say the policy changes stoked the wave of illegal immigration.
Administration officials say the system under former President Donald Trump was broken and needed reform. They have urged foreigners not to try to enter the country illegally.
According to the provisional numbers, U.S. agents recorded 42,199 illegal immigrants who entered the United States and evaded apprehension, known inside the government as “gotaways.”
Most of the evasions took place in the Del Rio, El Paso, and Tucson sectors. The El Paso sector also sits in Texas; the Tucson sector is in Arizona.
It’s impossible to estimate how many illegal aliens entered and weren’t detected.
Gotaway numbers aren’t regularly made public but can be obtained through various methods.
Including approximately 900,000 gotaways, a total of 4.9 million illegal aliens crossed the U.S.–Mexico border in the first 18 months of Biden’s presidency, the Federation for American Immigration Reform said in a recent report.
The White House recently falsely claimed that illegal immigrants aren’t just walking across the border, prompting Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) to invite White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre to Texas.
“You can pick any [expletive] hour of the day you want,” the senator said on his podcast. “You can come at 2 in the morning, you can come at noon. You will see them coming because they are coming every single hour.”
Jean-Pierre said during a press briefing, after being asked about Cruz’s invitation, that she’s been to the border before and that she didn’t “need lectures or invitations from Republicans about the border or border policies.”
Biden hasn’t visited the border since taking office.