The U.S. Department of Customs and Border Protection apprehended nearly 1 million immigrants attempting to unlawfully enter the United States in Fiscal Year 2019, a number about 88 percent higher than the amount apprehended the year prior.
The claim was made Tuesday by Mark Morgan, the acting commissioner for Customs and Border Protection, to reporters at the White House, according to a report from Axios.
As Axios reported, Morgan said the number of immigrants apprehended by the agency decreased as the year went on, with September having the lowest number of immigrant apprehensions of 2019. The September figure was down some 65 percent from the agency’s highest, in May, when it apprehended 144,000 immigrants, according to a tweet from PBS White House Correspondent Yamiche Alcindor.
Acting Commissioner of CPB Mark Morgan briefing at the WH says in fiscal year 2019, the number of families arriving to the border were more than triple the number than in other years.— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) October 8, 2019
He adds that in Sept law enforcement actions were down 65% at 52K from a peak in May of 144K. pic.twitter.com/BdXO4QmqCv
Since he campaigned for the presidency in 2016, Donald Trump has issued tough rhetoric and policies regarding immigration, and it has been a tumultuous year for CBP and its various associated agencies. Controversy ensued earlier this year over policies that separated children from their parents at facilities along the southern border. The quality of those facilities was also drawn into question following claims made by Democratic lawmakers who visited the facilities over the summer.
Notably, Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had claimed that detained migrants in custody were directed to drink water from toilets when the water fountains that were attached to them were not functioning. CBP denied that this was the case, though other claims against the facilities included allegations of malnutrition and overcrowding.
In July, a Facebook group organized by Border Patrol employees was found to have contained crude memes, and statements about immigrants and about lawmakers, including Rep. Ocasio-Cortez.
But the president’s rhetoric and actions have extended beyond unlawful immigration, and his administration has changed rules for legal immigration as well. According to a previous report from The Inquisitr, the Trump administration has made moves to block immigration visas of individuals hoping to enter the country if they cannot afford medical care.
The administration’s decision, which is expected to take effect next month, would require that an individual entering the country would have to prove that they had access to approved medical insurance or the financial means to pay for medical care while they were in the United States. According to The Inquisitr report, the president has taken interest in this area as legal immigrants are three times less likely to have health insurance than natural-born American citizens.
Axios reported that the drop in apprehensions later in 2019 was likely due, per Morgan, to a joint declaration between the United States and Mexico in June that was enacted to help curb the flow of immigrants attempting to cross into the United States.