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Tucson Sector border apprehensions plummet to a 3-year low

Tucson Sector border apprehensions plummet to a 3-year low

Border wall near Lukeville, Ariz.

Apprehensions along the entire U.S.-Mexico border fell from about 30,000 in March to 15,900 in April, the lowest monthly total for the Border Patrol since May 2017.

Amid the pandemic, Border Patrol apprehensions along the border near Tucson hit a three-year low in April.

Agents in the Tucson Sector made 2,611 apprehensions in April, down from about 5,100 in March, according to Customs and Border Protection statistics released May 7. The April total marked the lowest number of apprehensions in the Tucson Sector since July 2017.

Agents along the entire U.S.-Mexico border saw a similar decline in apprehensions, falling from about 30,000 in March to about 15,900 in April, the lowest monthly total for the Border Patrol since May 2017.

The vast majority of the migrants apprehended in the Tucson Sector in April were single adults. Agents apprehended nearly 2,400 single adults in April, down from about 3,900 in March.

In recent years, thousands of family members traveling together have flagged down Border Patrol agents and asked for asylum. Fewer have crossed the border near Tucson since the fall, when Tucson Sector agents encountered more than 2,000 family members each month. Agents encountered just 76 in April in the Tucson Sector and about 600 along the length of the US-Mexico border.

The number of unaccompanied children apprehended crossing the border in the Tucson Sector also dropped dramatically, from nearly 600 in March to 161 in April. The total for the entire border dropped from about 2,900 in March to about 700 in April.

In late March, CBP officials put in place strict measures to avoid spreading the virus to agents and detention centers. Agents now quickly expel some migrants who are citizens of Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador in a matter of hours. Most migrants apprehended at the border come from those countries.

CBP did not provide statistics on expulsions for the Tucson Sector. Along the length of the U.S.-Mexico border, agents expelled about 14,400 migrants under the health measure and apprehended about 1,400 under immigration laws.

While Border Patrol agents encounter migrants in remote areas and on highways, customs officers at legal ports of entry also encounter people who officers deem inadmissible to the United States.

At ports of entry on Arizona’s border with Mexico, officials deemed 79 people inadmissible in April, down from about 580 people in March. The number of family members deemed inadmissible at Arizona ports of entry dropped from about 280 in March to 12 in April.

The total for all ports of entry on the U.S.-Mexico border came to about 1,000 people deemed inadmissible in April, down from nearly 4,000 in March.

CBP reported 22 family members at ports of entry in April, down from nearly 1,200 in March.

Contact reporter Curt Prendergast at 573-4224 or cprendergast@tucson.com or on Twitter @CurtTucsonStar

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