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  4. CBP Releases November 2021 Monthly Operational Update

CBP Releases November 2021 Monthly Operational Update

Release Date
Fri, 12/17/2021

WASHINGTON – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) today released operational statistics for November 2021, which can be viewed online.

“CBP’s November Monthly Operational Update reflects an incredible amount of work on behalf of the American people to keep dangerous drugs and products out of our communities, to facilitate travel and billions of dollars in trade, and to maintain security along our borders,” said CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus. “It’s an honor to lead a workforce whose mission is so vital to our economic health and national security. CBP's vigilance is key to disrupting smugglers and transnational criminal organizations as they exploit vulnerable populations and attempt to traffic illegal and dangerous products.”

CBP Southwest Border Enforcement Numbers for November 2021

The large number of expulsions during the pandemic has contributed to a higher than usual number of migrants making multiple border crossing attempts, which means that total encounters somewhat overstate the number of unique individuals arriving at the border.

  • The number of unique individuals encountered in November 2021 was 127,653, a 10% increase in the number of unique individuals encountered the prior month.
  • In total, there were 173,620 encounters along the Southwest border, a 5% increase compared to October. Of those, 25% involved individuals who had at least one prior encounter in the previous 12 months, compared to an average one year re-encounter rate of 13% for FY2014-2019.
  • Two-thirds (66%) of encounters were single adults, with 114,419 encounters in November, a 5% increase compared to October.
  • 87,341 encounters, more than 50% of the total, were processed for expulsion under Title 42 in November. 86,279 encounters were processed under Title 8.
    • 75,955 encounters involving single adults (66% of all single adult encounters) were processed for expulsion under Title 42, with 38,464 processed under Title 8.
    • 11,155 encounters involving family unit individuals (25% of all family unit individuals) were processed for expulsion under Title 42, with 33,784 processed under Title 8.

Unaccompanied Children

  • Encounters of unaccompanied children increased 9%, with 13,959 encounters in November compared with 12,783 in October. In November, the average number of unaccompanied children in CBP custody was 962 per day, compared with an average of 595 per day in October.

Family Unit individuals

  • Encounters of family unit individuals increased by 5% from 42,795 in October to 44,939 in November—which was approximately half the peak of 86,631 in August 2021.

Collaboration with the Government of Panama

On November 15-18, 2021, then-Acting Commissioner Troy Miller led a CBP delegation to Panama. Mr. Miller met with different Panamanian authorities, including Panamanian Foreign Minister Erika Mouynes, to strengthen coordination against irregular migration and transnational organized crime. He also delivered remarks at the Central American Commission of Migration Directors meeting emphasizing the importance of regional cooperation, coordinated enforcement efforts, and information sharing. The CBP delegation also visited migrant shelters managed by the Panamanian government along the Darien in Bajo Chiquito, Lajas Blancas, and San Vicente, and observed first-hand the Panamanian government’s humanitarian effort and the challenges posed by irregular migration. This visit to Panama builds on recent trips by then-Acting Commissioner Miller to Colombia and Mexico to strengthen relationships with foreign partners across the region.

International Travel and Trade

One of CBP’s core mission objectives is to enhance the nation’s economic prosperity, including through the facilitation of lawful trade and travel. CBP continues to protect America’s national and economic security by facilitating legitimate trade while rigorously enforcing U.S. customs laws and regulations.


Nov 2019

Nov 2020

% Change from

Nov 2019

Nov 2021

% Change from

Nov 2020




















Commercial Trucks






Since travel restrictions were eased on November 8, CBP has processed increased numbers of arriving travelers without any significant delays. The new rules allow travelers who are non-U.S. persons to seek to enter the United States for non-essential travel via land ports of entry and ferry terminals, provided they are fully vaccinated and have appropriate documentation. The updated guidelines also allow most non-immigrants (non-U.S. citizens and other covered persons) who are fully vaccinated to travel by air to the United States, regardless of the reason for travel.

While still lower than pre-COVID levels in 2019, international air passenger volumes rose 15.3% during the first four weeks (Monday, Nov. 8 – Sunday, Dec. 5) since the changes were implemented, with 62% of passengers being processed in less than 30 minutes. International air passenger volumes were up from the same four weeks last year with 5.7 million travelers this year and 2 million last year, but still down from pre-COVID in 2019, with 9.2 million travelers during the same period.

In the land environment, border crossing travel volumes increased slightly along the Northern Border during the first four weeks since restrictions were eased but tapered off throughout the month, with average wait times of 2 minutes or less. Northern Border passenger counts were up from last year, which saw 251,000 passengers compared to 1 million this year, but still down from 3.2 million in 2019.

Travel volumes at the Southwest Border increased from 7.6 million last year during the same four weeks to 12.2 million travelers, still less than pre-COVID levels when CBP officers processed nearly 14 million travelers the same time period in 2019. Of note, however, travelers have experienced shorter wait times than even pre-COVID, largely in part to advances in technology, including facial biometrics and the CBP OneTM mobile application.

CBP will continue to track traveler numbers and wait times over the next few months and continue to adjust as needed to make the travel experience more efficient. In the meantime, travelers can plan by doing the following:

  • Have a valid Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative document, such as a passport, Trusted Traveler Program card, or Enhanced Tribal Card.
  • Possess proof of an approved COVID-19 vaccination as outlined on the CDC website.
  • Verbally attest to their travel intent and COVID-19 vaccination status.
  • Be prepared to present any documents requested by the CBP officer.

Accountability and Transparency

CBP is committed to being a leader in law enforcement accountability and transparency by providing multiple ways to report incidents as well as timely, accurate and appropriate information regarding CBP-related deaths, use of force incidents, and other critical incidents resulting in serious injuries. In November, CBP made an Accountability and Transparency page on its website available to the public, which provides one location to find all of CBP’s statements, policies, reports and other important information concerning critical incidents and related Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) reviews and investigations.

Trade Stats/Seizures – Protecting the American Consumer

CBP works diligently with the trade community and port operators to ensure that merchandise is cleared as efficiently as possible. CBP works with the trade community to strengthen international supply chains and improve border security. There are several programs by which CBP works with importers, carriers, consolidators, licensed customs brokers, and manufacturers to advance information about the shipments and expedite the inspection process at the ports of entry. CBP is available to conduct exams and is ready and willing to expand hours of operations if necessary to meet the growing demand for imported goods.

In November 2021 alone, CBP processed more than 3.3 million entry summaries valued at more than $270 billion, identifying estimated duties of nearly $8.7 billion to be collected by the U.S. government. In November, trade via the ocean environment accounted for more than 40% of the total import value, followed by air, truck, and rail.

Intellectual property rights violations continue to put America’s innovation economy at risk. Trade in counterfeit and pirated goods threatens the competitiveness of U.S. businesses, the livelihoods of American workers, and the health and safety of consumers.

  • In November 2021, CBP seized nearly 1,545 shipments that contained counterfeit goods valued at more than $335 million.

Drug Seizures

CBP officers, Border Patrol agents, and Air and Marine Operations agents continue to interdict the flow of illicit narcotics. Nationwide, drug seizures were up 90% in November over the prior month, as CBP eased travel restrictions for vaccinated travelers.

CBP’s drug seizures are indicative of the increasingly efficient layered enforcement approach – a multi-faceted approach that includes various technologies, inspections, canine sweeps, and secondary exams – that disrupt cross-border criminal activity. CBP officers are dedicated to their mission and working hard every day to stop any criminal activity while also balancing the need to facilitate legitimate trade and travel.

Seizures were as follows:

  • Cocaine seizures increased 41%.
  • Methamphetamine increased 164%.
  • Heroin seizures decreased 12%.
  • Fentanyl seizures increased 7%.

Additional CBP drug seizure statistics.

Agriculture Stats/Seizures – Securing American Agriculture

In November 2021, CBP agriculture specialists helped protect America’s agriculture, natural resources, and economic prosperity.

  • CBP issued 6,040 emergency action notifications for restricted and prohibited plant and animal products entering the United States.
  • CBP conducted 59,843 positive passenger inspections and issued 479 civil penalties and/or violations to the traveling public for failing to declare prohibited agriculture items.

CBP COVID-19 Response

The safety of our workforce, our communities, and individuals in our care is a top priority. CBP personnel put themselves and their families at risk with every encounter with the public. Federal agencies, including CBP, are laser-focused on vaccinating their workforce and as of November 30, 98% of CBP employees are in compliance with the vaccine and exemption requirements.

Since the start of the pandemic:

  • More than 13,000 CBP employees have tested positive for COVID-19.
  • 59 have passed away.

CBP continues to explore adjustments to workforce posture and health protocols based on widespread vaccine access and easing public health metrics:

  • CBP provides migrants who can’t be expelled under the CDC’s Title 42 order or are awaiting processing with PPE from the moment they are taken into custody, and migrants are required to keep masks on at all times.
  • CBP works with appropriate agencies that facilitate testing, diagnosis, isolation, and treatment of migrants, including:
    • Local governments and non-governmental organizations for persons released from CBP custody;
    • ICE for testing of persons to be released from CBP custody, particularly in locations without local government or NGO testing capability; and,
    • HHS for testing of unaccompanied children.
  • DHS has developed a partnership model to test and isolate families who test positive for COVID-19, and reimburse 100% of the cost, provided that the state does not stand in the way.


Last Modified: Jan 05, 2024