By BETHANY BLANKLEY
THE CENTER SQUARE CONTRIBUTOR
(The Center Square) – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers apprehended more people in November than October and confiscated a record amount of drugs last month, according to its latest operational report.
In November at the southern border, encounters with unaccompanied minors increased by 9% from October, with family units by 5%, and with single adults also by 5%.
The number of unique encounters, meaning people who were apprehended for the first time by CBP agents, showed a 10% increase from October.
Nationwide, drug seizures were up 90% in November over the prior month.
CBP credits the large number of foreign nationals making multiple illegal border crossings last month “to the large number of expulsions during the pandemic,” suggesting that the total number of encounters “somewhat overstate the number of unique individuals arriving at the border.”
In November, a total of 173,620 people were encountered by CBP agents, of which 127,653 were unique encounters – meaning nearly 46,000 encounters were of individuals attempting to enter more than once.
Of those attempting to enter more than once, 25% had at least one prior encounter in the past 12 months, compared to an average one-year re-encounter rate of 13% over a five-year period (FY2014-2019), CBP reports.
Of the number of people encountered in November, 87,341 were processed for expulsion under Title 42, the majority of which were 75,955 individuals. CBP reports that 86,279 people were processed for expulsion under Title 8.
Family units were also deported. CBP reports that 11,155 family unit individuals were processed for expulsion under Title 42; 33,784 were processed for expulsion under Title 8.
The number of encounters of family unit individuals increased by 5%, from 42,795 in October to 44,939 in November, which was roughly half the peak of August encounters of 86,631.
The number of unaccompanied children illegally crossing the border in November was 13,959, a 9% increase from October, when 12,783 unaccompanied minors came through.
In November, the average number of unaccompanied children in CBP custody was 962 per day, compared with an average of 595 per day in October.
CBP’s credits the 90% increase in drug seizures last month to an “efficient layered enforcement approach.” Using various technologies, inspections, canine sweeps, and secondary exams, agents were able to thwart criminal activity, CBP says.
CBP reports that cocaine seizures increased by 41%, methamphetamine seizures increased by 164%, and fentanyl seizures increased by 7%. By contrast, heroin seizures decreased by 12%.
In 2021, CBP agents confiscated 319,447 pounds of marijuana, 190,861 pounds of methamphetamine, 97,638 pounds of cocaine, 202,820 pounds of khat (a stimulant that comes from a plant), and 73,872 pounds of other drugs, including prescription, chemical and other uncategorized drugs.
In November, CBP also processed more than 3.3 million entry summaries valued at more than $270 billion, identifying estimated duties of nearly $8.7 billion to be collected by the U.S. government. Agents also seized nearly 1,545 shipments that contained counterfeit goods valued at more than $335 million.