Putting TRAC to Work
  Policy and Public Interest Groups
Migration Policy Institute
June 21, 2018

Crisis at the Border? Not by the Numbers
By Jessica Bolter and Doris Meissner

In addition to migrants apprehended seeking to cross illegally between ports of entry, many of those traveling to the U.S. border—especially families—are turning themselves in at designated ports of entry (POEs) and often asking for asylum. These numbers are separate from apprehension numbers but have in recent years become another important indicator of changing flows at the border. In FY 2017, 28 percent of all families attempting to enter the United States did so by presenting themselves at POEs. In the first eight months of FY 2018, that share has risen to 37 percent. In comparison, 29 percent of adult individual migrants presented at POEs in FY 2017, and 23 percent have done so thus far in FY 2018. Meanwhile, the number of Border Patrol agents at the Southwest border is almost double the number in 2000, and the Trump administration continues to press for the hiring of 5,000 additional agents, even as total apprehensions in recent years have been at lows comparable to those of the mid-1970s, when there were about 1,400 agents at the Southwest border......[Citing TRAC data and reports].

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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