The Office of Immigration Statistics released data on immigration enforcement actions in FY 2009 (October 1 through September 30). The report finds that:

  • The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) apprehended 613,003 foreign nationals, compared to 791,568 in FY2008 and 960,756 in FY2007.
  • Mexican nationals made up the largest percentage of apprehensions (86%), followed by Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, China, Brazil, Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Cuba, and Nicaragua.

Border Patrol:

  • Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) was responsible for 91% of all apprehensions, and 97% of CBP apprehensions were along the Southwest border. The Tucson, AZ sector had 45% of all Southwest border apprehensions (241,667), followed by San Diego, CA (118,712); Rio Grande Valley, TX (60,992), Laredo, TX (40,571; El Centro, CA (33,520); and Del Rio, TX (17,082).
  • Apprehensions by the Border Patrol decreased 23% between 2008 and 2009, which corresponds to lower immigration levels during the economic downturn.


  • ICE detained a record number of 383,524 foreign nationals in FY2009. Mexican nationals accounted for 63% of all detainees, but because they generally remain detained for short periods, they accounted for only 34% of detention bed days.


  • DHS removed a total of 393,289 persons in 2009, which is a 10% increase from the previous year and the 7th consecutive record high. 72% of removals were Mexicans (282,666). The next leading countries were Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and the Dominican Republic.
  • 27% of all removals were “expedited removals,” meaning that the individuals were inadmissible because they didn’t have proper documents and were removed without a hearing before an immigration court.
  • 580,000 persons were returned to their home countries without being placed in immigration proceedings. They are generally non-criminals who are apprehended at the border or port of entry and agree that their entry was illegal and waive their right to a hearing. 85% of returns were Mexican or Canadian immigrants.
  • DHS removed 128,345 immigrants with criminal convictions, including traffic offenses. Those convicted of illegal drug activity, traffic offenses, and criminal immigration violations made up 61% of all criminal removals.