Only 54% of Undocumented Immigrants Apprehended
A leaked report by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) concludes that almost half of all undocumented immigrants evade detention.
The report has not officially been released by the DPH, but the Associated Press received a copy from an unnamed government source. The internal report has not been released even as members of Congress have asked for it to be made public.
The overall number of undocumented immigrants crossing into the US has been lower in recent years than in the past decade, resulting in lower overall arrests. In 2015, it is estimated that 170,000 escaped arrest by Border Patrol agents, down from an estimated 210,000 in 2014.
This report is the first to give estimates of how many people evaded arrest, compared to data released each year on the number of arrests made.
Arrests in 2015 totaled 337,117, according to the DHS’s last annual report. That total was a 30% drop from the 486,651 arrests made in 2014.
The DHS reports that, of 337,117 arrests made in 2015 throughout the US, 188,122 of those were of people from Mexico, 43,564 from El Salvador, 57,160 from Guatemala and 33,848 from Honduras.
Last year, total arrests dropped to the lowest level in 44 years. In fact, undocumented entries and arrests dropped significantly during the Great Recession as many returned to their respective countries when employment opportunities dropped.
A study by the Pew Research Center concluded that undocumented immigration fell from more than 1 million in 2005 to just 286,000 in 2011.
As the economy in the US has rebounded, so too have the numbers of undocumented border crossers, including unaccompanied children. After a spike in children attempting to cross the border in 2014, then a decrease in 2015, undocumented minors atthe border have increased again.
So far in Fiscal Year 2016, from October 2015 to March 2016, the DHS reports that 27,754 unaccompanied children were apprehended, a 78% increase over the 15,616 stopped in 2015. The peak number
of minors arrested in 2014 was 28,579.
The most dramatic increase has been in arrests of family units, which is defined as at least one child traveling with at least one adult. Between October 2015 and March 2016, 32,117 families were apprehended, representing an increase of 131% from the 13,913 arrested in 2015, and a 62% increase from the 19,830 arrested in 2014.