More than 200,000 illegal immigrant apprehensions occurred at the United States-Mexico border for the second month in a row in August, a source from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) told Fox News Wednesday.
The outlet reported that there were 208,887 apprehensions in August, a slight drop from the 212,672 encounters in July. Compared to the same period last year, on the other hand, the number of encounters drastically increased from just 50,014 in August 2020 – a 317 percent jump, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) statistics. This year also marked a 233 percent increase over August 2019, when 62,707 illegal immigrants were encountered at the border.
The majority of illegal immigrants arrested in August were single adults, with 44 percent being expelled according to Title 42 public health protections first established by former President Donald Trump.
A spokesperson for U.S. Customs and Border Protection told Fox News that the August data provided to the outlet by a DHS source would be posted to its website in the next few days.
While the Biden administration has routinely expelled single adults citing COVID-19 restrictions, unaccompanied children and illegal immigrant families with young children have been allowed to stay.
DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said last month that President Joe Biden’s administration plans to continue its border strategy, including creating “safe, legal and orderly pathways for migrants.”
“We have a plan, we are executing our plan and that takes time,” Mayorkas said.
However, the DHS secretary also warned border agents that the situation is “unsustainable,” according to leaked audio obtained by Fox News.
“A couple of days ago I was down in Mexico, and I said look, you know, if, if our borders are the first line of defense, we’re going to lose and this is unsustainable,” Mayorkas said. “We can’t continue like this, our people in the field can’t continue and our system isn’t built for it.”
On Tuesday, a CBP press release revealed two small children were abandoned along the Rio Grande River. The children were discovered during a patrol around noon local time and were immediately retrieved from the riverbank.
The agents discovered a note under the infant safety carrier explaining that the 2-year-old girl and 3-month-old boy were siblings from Honduras. According to the CBP, the children did not require medical care and were transported to the Uvalde Station.
In a Facebook post, Del Rio Sector Interim Chief Patrol Agent Robert N. Garcia said, “The attention to detail our agents demonstrate while performing their duties can be the difference between life and death. In this case, agents noticed a color they would normally not see in the river and turned back to investigate, discovering two small children.”
“It is heartbreaking and frustrating to know that there are children being abandoned without remorse or concern for their lives and wellbeing,” the chief’s statement continued. “I commend our agents for their hard work and commitment during these unprecedented times. Honor First!”