Earlier this month, the Department of Homeland Security shared data that showed an increase in the apprehension of families and unaccompanied minors at the United States-Mexico border. According to DHS, Fiscal Year 2016 apprehensions are matching or exceeding FY2014 levels, even though DHS has yet to report final FY2016 numbers for September.

The following DHS chart shows the increase of families who have been apprehended at the border from FY2012–2016. The blue line represents FY2016. In August, DHS apprehended 9,359 families. In February, it was 3,051 families. The total number of families apprehended in the first 11 months of FY2016 was 68,080 families. For the full 12 months of FY2014, the total number of family apprehensions was 68,445.


DHS defines “family units” as the “number of individuals (either a child under 18 years old, parent or legal guardian) apprehended with a family member by the U.S. Border Patrol.”

For the first 11 months of FY2016, DHS reported that 23,897 of the families apprehended were from El Salvador, 20,070 were from Guatemala, 17,608 were from Honduras and 3,145 came from Mexico. DHS also provided a chart comparing countries of origin between FY2016 and FY2015. Only Mexico has seen a decrease in apprehensions.


The apprehension of unaccompanied minors has also increased in FY2016, when compared to FY2015, but it is likely not to exceed FY2014 figures. In the first 11 months of FY2016, 54,052 unaccompanied minors have been apprehended. In FY2014, the total number for the full 12 months was 68,541. However, the number of monthly apprehensions since February 2016 almost doubled in August 2016.


DHS also listed countries of origin for unaccompanied minors apprehended since FY2009. In FY2016, 17,113 unaccompanied minors from Guatemala were apprehended, while 15,987 minors were from El Salvador, 10,854 were from Mexico and 9,305 migrated from Honduras. In FY2009, 1,115 minors came from Guatemala, 1,221 from El Salvador and just 968 arrived from Honduras. In other words, when comparing FY2009 to FY2016, apprehensions of unaccompanied minors from Guatemala increased by more than 1500%. El Salvador has seen an increase of about 1300% and the percentage increase Honduras is about 961%.


You can access the full DHS report here.

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