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FACE OF DEFENSE: January Border Apprehensions Remain High


WASHINGTON (FEBRUARY 2019)— U.S. Customs and Border Protection released January border enforcement statistics today. These border enforcement statistics show a sustained, high volume of families and unaccompanied children from Central America are attempting to cross the Southwest border.

Large groups of 100 or more people, many of which are families from Central America, are increasingly crossing the border illegally in remote areas. As of January, U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) agents encountered 58 large groups so far this year compared to 13 during this same period in Fiscal Year (FY) 2018.

“Family units and unaccompanied children from Central America are crossing the border illegally in greater numbers and in larger groups than ever before, straining our law enforcement resources,” said Brian Hastings, U.S. Border Patrol Chief of Operations. “These trends are very concerning and demonstrate the reality of the ongoing humanitarian and border security crisis.”

Family unit apprehensions by USBP agents so far this FY are up 290 percent compared to the same period in FY 2018, from 25,625 in FY 2018 to 99,901 so far this year.

For CBP's Southwest border migration webpage, please visit

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between official ports of entry. CBP is charged with securing the borders of the United States while enforcing hundreds of laws and facilitating lawful trade and travel.