Arizona Officials React to August Southern Border Encounter Statistics

New southern border encounter statistics from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) revealed that over 200,000 migrants were encountered at the border for the sixth month in a row, which Gov. Doug Ducey (R) observed is especially harsh on Arizona border towns.

“Border towns bear the weight of this record illegal immigration. Government services, hospitals and food banks are strapped. The Yuma sector had more than 24,000 migrant encounters in August – almost a quarter of the town’s population,” tweeted Ducey.

The Arizona Sun Times reached out to the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office for a quote on these numbers but did not receive a response before publication time.

Ducey further shared that not only were encounters at the Yuma sector high in August, but it has also seen the highest increase of any sector along the border compared to the last fiscal year.

“The Yuma Sector had more than 284,000 encounters at the border from October 2021 to August 2022 – that’s the highest yearly increase for any border sector. When is Washington going to wake up and realize the border is NOT secure? Arizona will continue to fill the gap,” Ducey tweeted.

Furthermore, Representative Andy Biggs (R-AZ-05) also spoke on the new numbers, saying that many migrants are freely released into the country.

“New border figures reveal that agents encountered more than 200K individuals for the sixth straight month,” Biggs said via Twitter. “Many of these individuals have been released into the country and will never be heard from again. The border is not secure.”

According to the Washington Examiner, as of May, the Biden administration has released 1,049,532 undocumented immigrants into the United States.

Moreover, Representative Paul Gosar (R-AZ-04) bashed the Biden administration for the over 4 million immigrants it has “encouraged” to come to the U.S. since it took office in 2021.

“Joe Biden has welcomed and encouraged more than 4.4 million lawbreakers into our country since he took over in January 2021, including 66 individuals on the terrorist watch list. This number does not include the nearly one million lawbreakers who were not apprehended. In just two years, Biden has allowed in five times more illegal aliens than the entire population of the greater Tucson area,” said Gosar.

Gosar also noted that drug seizures at the southern border increased last month. The CBP showed that overall, the number of drugs confiscated at the border decreased last August, but apprehensions of individual drugs like fentanyl, cocaine, and ketamine increased. Specifically, 2,287 pounds of fentanyl were seized. According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, one kilogram of fentanyl pills is enough to kill 500,000 people, meaning CBP officials apprehended enough fentanyl to kill 518,700,000 citizens in August alone.

Additionally, Axios reported that migrant encounter data from the CBP broke a record. So far in the fiscal year, over two million migrants have been encountered, a record for encounters made in a single year, with another month to go before the fiscal year changes in October. Comparably, in 2021, officials encountered 1.7 million migrants.

As for the specific numbers in August, there were 203,598 encounters along the border, 157,921 of which were unique encounters. Unaccompanied children decreased during the month, as 11,365 were encountered, a 14 percent decrease. However, the total is a 1.7 percent increase compared to July, ending the CBP’s two-month streak of decreased encounters.

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Neil Jones is a reporter for The Arizona Sun Times and The Star News Network. Follow Neil on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Paul Gosar” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0. Photo “Andy Biggs” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0. Photo “Doug Ducey” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0. Background Photo “U.S. Southern Border Wall” by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.


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