Nearly 300,000 Children, Families Apprehended Illegally Crossing U.S. Border Since FY 2013
During the first two months of FY 2016 — October and November — Border Patrol apprehended more than twice as many illegal immigrant children traveling without an adult and “family units” as the same period the year before, hinting that the migration flow may be again on the rise.
In addition to the 10,588 unaccompanied minors and 12,505 family units apprehended in November and October, 270,408 unaccompanied minors and family units — largely from Central America — have been apprehended illegally crossing the border since FY 2013.
According to data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, in FY 2013 Border Patrol apprehended 38,759 unaccompanied minors and 14,855 family units. In FY 2014, 68,541 unaccompanied minors and 68,445 family units were apprehended and in FY 2015 there were 39,970 unaccompanied minors and 39,838 family units apprehended.
The renewed surge, during a period of traditionally lower migration, has officials already preparing. In a statement accompanying the new FY 2016 data, CBP pointed to Health and Human Services’ move to increase its capacity to house the incoming flow.
“The Office of Refugee Resettlement at HHS increased the capacity of current providers from 7,900 to 8,400 beds in November and is preparing for temporary bed space in the event that additional beds may be needed,” CBP said in a statement. “ORR is continuously analyzing and monitoring bed capacity of unaccompanied children referred to HHS, as well as the information received from interagency partners, to inform any future decisions or actions.”