Regardless of whether the thousands of migrants make it to the U.S.-Mexico border, there is ample evidence that the insecurity at the border has reached a crisis stage.
According to year-end figures released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), there were 107,212 family unit apprehensions in FY2018, compared to 75,622 in FY2017 – an increase of 42 percent. And there was a 21 percent rise in the number of unaccompanied minors (UACs) apprehended during the same period.
Over the last year, Border Patrol agents captured 396,579 illegal aliens attempting to cross into the U.S. between the ports of entry and a staggering 25,488 in October alone.
The annual numbers are striking, but they fail to reflect the ongoing, daily battle being waged by agents on the southwest border, particularly Texas’s Rio Grande Valley, which is the most heavily-trafficked in the nation.
How bad has it gotten? Manuel Padilla Jr., Chief of the Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol says in South Texas there were nearly 20,750 illegal alien arrests were made in October – a 113 percent increase compared to October 2017.
As open border politicians and media were snickering about the caravan and sneering at pro-enforcement candidates, Border Patrol agents were dealing with the crisis those politicians and pundits have helped to create.
Just last weekend, CBP handled 22 alien smuggling cases, took custody of more 1,500 pounds of marijuana, made more than 2,600 arrests, arrested two gang members and found one migrant dead, according to Padilla.
According to Padilla, on Monday morning, CBP discovered seven bundles of narcotics (heroin and cocaine) in the battery compartment of a vehicle. That afternoon, agents in Kingsville, Texas, were alerted by canines to two duffle bags and a Ziploc bag containing 23 bundles of marijuana weighing more than 100 pounds – worth an estimated $90,000.
Until the border crisis deniers ditch their armchairs and get out of their studios, they will never get a full picture of what is occurring along our embattled border.