Apprehensions at the US southwest border for October came in at 50,975, up 23% over the previous month and a whopping 19,400 (+38%) over our mid-year projection.
We had stated in our earlier reports that illegal immigration could go a lot higher, to 45,000-65,000 per month, and at 51,000, the October data falls right into that range. October apprehensions reached the highest level since 2007, which is significant because it suggests a return to pre-recession levels, which were much, much higher than recent numbers.
Our November forecast for southwest border apprehensions for full year 2018 now stands at 465,000, an 85% gain over the 251,000 booked in 2017. In October 2017, we forecast apprehensions to double in 2018, and we were not far off.
Our initial forecast for 2019 sees border apprehensions rising another 30% to just over 600,000 next year.
Our forecasts and actuals on an annual basis can be seen on the graph below. Next year is likely to see the highest level of apprehensions at the southwest border in a decade.
Turning to inadmissibles, those trying to cross at official entry points without proper documentation, October numbers came in near historical averages and at expectations.
While one can understand President Trump's dissatisfaction with illegal immigration numbers, firing Secretary Nielsen without a swift and credible replacement would expose DHS as a rudderless institution just as a migrant onslaught is hitting the country. It would not reflect well on the President.