FACT CHECK: Are 1,500 To 1,700 Illegal Immigrants Stopped At The Border Every Day?

Shane Devine | Fact Check Reporter

Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen said on “Fox News Sunday” that between 1,500 and 1,700 people are stopped from illegally entering the U.S. every day.

“We have a crisis of the border right now. We are stopping between 1,500 and 1,700 people a day, trying to cross illegally into this country,” she said.

Verdict: False

On average, 1,383 migrants were stopped from crossing the border illegally each day in September and 1,087 a day across fiscal year 2018.

Fact Check:

Nielsen brought up the figure while discussing a caravan of several thousand Central American migrants making their way to the U.S.-Mexico border.

“This caravan is one iteration of that, but frankly, we essentially see caravans every day with these numbers,” she told Fox News host Chris Wallace Sunday.

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reports that 41,486 people were apprehended at the Southwest border in September, an average of 1,383 per day. No month over the last year approached 1,500 apprehensions per day, and the daily average for FY 2018 was 1,087 apprehensions.

So where did Nielsen get her figure? The total number of migrants stopped by CBP rises to 50,568 people in September, or 1686 per day, when counting inadmissible migrants.

The Department of Homeland Security defines inadmissible migrants as those seeking lawful admission at a port of entry who do not meet the proper criteria for entry. Since Nielsen’s claim focuses on those attempting to enter illegally, or between ports of entry, inadmissible migrants should not be counted.

CBP apprehended nearly 397,000 people at the Southwest border in FY 2018, around 93,000 more than FY 2017. Total apprehensions at the Southwest border have decreased substantially since FY 2000.

The border is more difficult to illegally cross now than ever before, with an estimated 83 percent of crossers successfully interdicted in 2016, compared to 69 percent in 2006.

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Shane Devine

Fact Check Reporter