Apprehensions at the US Southwest border in August surged to 37,554, up 6,241 (+20%) over July and nearly 7,700 (+26%) compared to our forecast. This represents a material change in trend, and in fact represents the highest level of apprehensions for the month since 2010. Credit the US economy. Readers will recall that we expected a higher level of apprehensions as illegal immigrants took advantage of job opportunities in the US. That expectation looks to be taking hold in August, and it might reasonably be expected to persist for the balance of the year.
By contrast, inadmissibles, those trying to cross at official crossing points without proper documentation, have remained at more depressed levels. After the spring's surge, inadmissibles numbers declined with the administration's 'zero tolerance' policy. Although the policy has been rescinded, inadmissibles numbers have not recovered. In August, inadmissibles numbered 9,016, up 4% over July and 6% over long term averages, but well off a trend line based on the first four months of the year. In aggregate, we might considered inadmissible numbers for August largely close to normal, neither much better nor worse than longer term averages.