The Biden administration rolled out a record-shattering border encounters report in a Friday afternoon news dump. The monthly Southwest Land Border Encounters report came out later than normal and revealed a shocking look at the apprehension of nearly 250,000 migrants in the month of December.
The report, released on Friday afternoon, shows that Border Patrol agents along the southwest border with Mexico apprehended 249,785 migrants who illegally crossed the border in December between ports of entry. This is up by 12 percent from the 222,018 migrants apprehended one year ago and more than 11 percent compared to the Biden-era record of 224,370 set in May 2022.
The December report brings the southwest border total for the first quarter of FY24 to nearly 630,000 migrant encounters. More than half of these encounters (325739) were classified as single adults. The remainder were family units (268,818) and unaccompanied minors (35,118).
“CBP has taken significant steps to surge personnel and resources to impacted areas and address challenges we are experiencing across the southwest border,” CBP officials said in a written statement late Friday afternoon. “Encounter numbers continue to fluctuate, as smugglers and bad actors continue to spread falsehoods and show complete disregard for the safety and well-being of vulnerable migrants.”
The Tucson and Del Rio Sectors accounted for more than 150,000 of the nearly 250,000 migrant apprehensions in December. The apprehension of 80,185 migrants in the Tucson Sector in December is up by more than 260 percent from the prior year’s December report of 22,131 migrant apprehensions.
The Del Rio Sector reported 71,095 migrant apprehensions in December. This is up by nearly 38 percent from one year ago when agents encountered 51,701 migrants.
The San Diego Sector was the third busiest in December, with 34,372 migrant encounters (up 81.4 percent). This was followed by the El Paso Sector’s 33,970 encounters (down 39.1 percent).
The Tucson and Del Rio Sectors accounted for more than 352,000 of the nearly 630,000 southwest land border encounters in FY24, which began on September 1, 2023.
More than half of the reported encounters were migrants from countries other than Mexico and the Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. Venezuelan migrants accounted for nearly 100,000. This compared to just over 200,000 Venezuelan migrants apprehended in the entire Fiscal Year 23.
The number of Chinese migrants encountered at the southwest border also continues to rise. In December, agents encountered nearly 6,000 migrants. This is up from 931 the year before and five in January 2021, the month President Joe Biden took office. During the first quarter of FY24, agents encountered nearly 15,000 Chinese migrants. This compares to just over 24,000 total apprehensions in FY23.
Unofficial Border Patrol reports reviewed by Breitbart Texas show a sharp decline in migrant apprehensions in the first three weeks of January. Agents along the southwest border encountered only 83,000 migrants, approximately 3,777 per day. This compares to approximately 8,057 per day in December.
Seasonal trends and efforts by Mexican authorities to intercept migrants in their northern border states and return them to central or southern Mexico account for most of the decline.
“Consistent with historical trends and enhanced enforcement, the first two weeks of January saw an over 50% decrease in southwest border encounters between ports of entry according to preliminary figures,” CBP officials stated.
Bob Price is the Breitbart Texas-Border team’s associate editor and senior news contributor. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s What’s Your Point? Sunday morning talk show. He also serves as president of Blue Wonder Gun Care Products. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.