More Than 10,000 Criminal Aliens Apprehended at the Southern Border in FY 2021

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recently announced the apprehensions of three foreign nationals with criminal backgrounds and gang affiliations attempting to enter the United States unlawfully.

On October 20, border agents in the Rio Grande Valley Sector (RGV) detained 13 migrants near Encino, Texas. A records check revealed one of the migrants in the group is an MS-13 gang member with pending charges for homicide, fraud, and trespassing in New York. Later in the day, authorities found two migrants hiding in a brush tree near the city of Falfurrias, one of whom was arrested for homicide in El Salvador. The migrant was also an MS-13 gang member. In the evening, officials found an 18th Street gang member from El Salvador among a group of more than 60 migrants; the scofflaw was previously apprehended and removed from the country in September.

Sadly, the apprehensions of illegal aliens with criminal backgrounds have become more frequent at the southern border. CBP data revealed that Border Patrol agents arrested 10,763 criminal aliens along the Southwest border in fiscal year 2021, surpassing the arrests totals of FY 2017 (8,531), FY 2018 (6,698), FY 2019 (4,269), and FY 2020 (2,438).

These 10,763 criminal aliens’ combined convictions totaled 15,494. These crimes include:

  • Assault, battery, domestic violence: 1,178
  • Burglary, robbery, larceny, theft, fraud: 825
  • Driving under the influence: 1,629
  • Homicide, manslaughter: 10
  • Illegal drug possession, trafficking: 2,138
  • Illegal entry, re-entry: 6,160
  • Illegal weapons possession, transport, trafficking: 336
  • Sexual offenses: 488
  • Other: 2,730

Every offense category increased in FY 2021, with each exceeding the total offenses of the past four years.

The CBP data show that of the 10,763 criminal aliens apprehended, 348 were documented, gang members. Additionally, at least 13 different street gangs were encountered by authorities in FY 2021. Some of the criminal organizations that officials came across the most were MS-13, 18th Street, and Latin Kings. On top of the more than 10,000 illegal aliens with rap sheets, authorities arrested an additional 1,904 aliens with outstanding criminal warrants.

The enforcement efforts by Border Patrol agents have made communities across the country safer by intercepting these criminals before they traveled into the interior of the United States. Still, with the number of apprehended alien offenders, how many were able to elude capture or detection by authorities? More importantly, how many of these unlawful migrants committed additional crimes? Unfortunately, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ gutting of immigration enforcement has guaranteed most criminal aliens in the country’s interior will not be arrested or deported, thanks to a series of memos.  

The crisis at the southern border has stretched thin the number of federal agents available to secure the home front, as manpower have been diverted to processing and transporting migrants. State and local governments have lent their support in assisting with security efforts to slow the flow of illegal immigration and drug trafficking. However, until the federal government steps up to do its job and secure our porous border, more Americans will be vulnerable to becoming victims of preventable crime at the hands of illegal aliens.

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