Border arrests have soared to all-time high, new CBP data shows

U.S. authorities detained more than 1.7 million migrants along the Mexico border during the 2021 fiscal year that ended in September, and arrests by the Border Patrol soared to the highest levels ever recorded, according to unpublished U.S. Customs and Border Protection data obtained by The Washington Post.

Illegal crossings began rising last year but skyrocketed in the months after President Biden took office. As CBP arrests increased this past spring, Biden described the rise as consistent with historical seasonal norms. But the busiest months came during the sweltering heat of July and August, when more than 200,000 migrants were taken into custody. …

The extraordinary influx has produced a series of crises for the administration, starting this spring with record numbers of unaccompanied minors crossing without parents who were crowded shoulder to shoulder into Border Patrol tents. …

During the 2021 fiscal year, agents apprehended 1.66 million along the Mexico border only, the latest figures show. That exceeds the 1.64 million taken into custody in 2000 along the Mexico border, according to historic data.

Those figures do not include the unknown number of migrants who successfully evaded capture after making an illegal entry that was detected by CBP sensors, video cameras or agents.

The Border Patrol refers to such entries as “gotaway” incidents, and while the agency does not publish gotaway estimates, officials have reported averages of more than 1,000 per day in recent months.