U.S. Border Patrol agents apprehended 1.15 million illegal aliens last year trying to sneak into the United States between the nation’s land ports of entry, more than 3,100 a day—a 24 percent increase over the year before.
The agents, part of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), also made 8,577 drug seizures, confiscating 1.4 million pounds of illegal narcotics with an estimated street value of $1.62 billion, according to the figures released by the Department of Homeland Security.
The Homeland Security figures also show that CBP inspectors and officers at the nation’s 300 official land, air and sea ports of entry made 47,744 drug seizures worth an estimated $1 billion; seized more than $138 million in counterfeit goods, up from $94 million in 2003; and identified and arrested more than 23,000 people with criminal records—including 84 murder suspects, 37 suspected kidnappers, 151 wanted on charges of sexual assault, 212 robbery suspects and 2,630 others implicated in drug-related charges.
Those inspectors and officers also processed 428 million passengers and pedestrians, including 262 million aliens, denying entry to more than 643,000 aliens under U.S. law.
The Border Patrol helped identify and arrest 23,000 criminal suspects through a new biometrics fingerprint identification technology that allows agents to search CBP’s Automated Biometrics Identification System and the FBI’s criminal fingerprint database simultaneously.