CBP Reports More Than One Million Border Arrests Since October, Activist Says That Doesn't Reflect the Reality

"Because they want to present a narrative that the border is out of control so they can justify more funding plus resources for their budget," said Pedro Rios, director of the Committee of American Friends

A million arrests in the last six months have been reported along the U.S.-Mexico border, according to a report from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). And according to Pedro Rios, director of the Committee of American Friends, the figures do not reveal the reality of the situation at the border.

But it's not that CBP is hiding numbers, it's that, according to the agency, it can be confusing how they group the illegal entries of migrants into the country.

And according to one activist, that tactic has been used for years, with the purpose of further guarding the border.

"A mom cannot imagine seeing their child in those conditions, the corpse in the river was my son," said Roxana Sabillon, whose son, 14-year-old Christopher drowned in the Rio Grande, in his attempt to reunite with his mother in Texas.

And tragedies like these, according to one activist, are the result of what he calls the militarization of the border.

"More officers are not going to be the solution," said Pedro Rios, director of the border program, Committee of American Friends.

And they are more official, which according to the activist CBP seeks, with its new report in which he assured that they have arrested more than a million migrants along the 1,954 miles between Mexico and the United States.

"Because they want to present a narrative that the border is out of control so they can justify more funding plus resources for their budget," Rios said.

In the same report, CBP said that of the more than one million migrants arrested from October to date, approximately 51% resulted in migrant removal under Title 42, while the rest were processed under normal immigration procedures, meaning they were quickly deported, detained or released to seek asylum.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Source: USBP and OFO official yearend reporting for FY19-FY21; USBP and OFO month-end reporting for FY22 to date. Data is current as of 04/05/2022.

"And if we apply it to this number, it reduces it by a pretty large amount," Rios said.

Locally, the situation is the same, according to the Border Patrol, of the more than 83,000 arrests in the San Diego sector, 21,700 migrants were apprehended and processed, and the rest are what they call encounters.

"And who are removed by title 42," said Alfonso Martinez, assistant agent to the head of the Border Patrol.

What is a reality, according to the activist, is that the situation is difficult on the border, due to the political crisis in Cuba, the insecurity in Central America and Mexico, as well as the war in Ukraine. In recent months, thousands of Ukrainians have been able to enter the United States on humanitarian grounds, mostly through this border.

This story was originally reported by NBC 7's sister station, Telemundo 20. To read the article, click here.

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