(NewsNation) — U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported a record number of migrant encounters at the southern border so far in the fiscal year, and the breakdown of encounters has officials concerned.
With one month left to go in the fiscal year, encounters are up almost 25% from last year’s total. A more detailed look at data from this calendar year shows a changing demographic, including a massive increase in the number of people coming from Columbia and Cuba — up more than 2,500% and 510%, respectively.
Encounters at the three busiest sectors so far look like this:
- Rio Grande Valley, Texas — 440,223 (down 10.8%)
- Del Rio, Texas — 428,555 (up 98.7%)
- Yuma, Arizona — 284,078 ( up 208.6%)
Historically the epicenter of the border crisis, migrant encounters in the Rio Grande Valley Sector has seen fewer migrant encounters, meaning the Del Rio Sector could take its rank.
The number of those on the FBI’s terrorist watch list apprehended at the border is also on the rise. Officials at the southern border stopped 78 people from the list this year more than three times the previous five fiscal years combined, according to Customs and Border Patrol.
In Arizona, the Yuma Sector was the site of more than 6,200 arrests of migrants from 44 different countries between Sept. 11 and 17.
Not all migrants are apprehended. DHS sources told NewsNation that more than 570,000 “gotaways,” or known migrants who have eluded officials, have been tallied this year.
Others succumbed to dangerous conditions along the way. This year alone, 783 migrants have died trying to come to the U.S. according to the National Border Patrol Council.
In June, 53 migrants were killed during attempted smuggling in San Antonio.
Officials in nearby border towns have expressed feeling overwhelmed by the influx of new arrivals.
In response, Republican governors — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey — have implemented a migrant relocation strategy that has drawn criticism from Democrats.
White House officials on Tuesday confirmed they were monitoring a situation involving migrants on board a plane traveling to Delaware, where President Joe Biden owns a home.
Last week, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office sent two flights to the island, saying they were part of the state’s “relocation program” that intends to send migrants to “sanctuary destinations.”