EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – U.S. Border Patrol agents working in the El Paso Sector saw “unprecedented numbers” of migrant encounters during the first quarter in Fiscal Year 2023.(FY23), according to a news release from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

During the first three months of FY23, migrant encounters totaled 162,603, which represents an increase of 231 percent from the same time frame last fiscal year.

The top five nationalities encountered in the El Paso Sector were from Nicaragua, Venezuela, Mexico, Ecuador, and Colombia.

The El Paso Sector also includes the border area of New Mexico.

More than 64 percent of the migrants encountered during this time frame were single adults, some attempting to evade arrest and not seeking asylum, according to the release.

There were 105,036 single adults encountered compared to a total of 37,088 single adults encountered in the El Paso Sector during the same time frame in FY22, representing a 183 percent increase.

The number of families encountered in the El Paso Sector increased by 623 percent, with 49,508 encounters, surpassing last year’s number of 6,844.

Unaccompanied children encounters increased by 59 percent with 8,059. During the same time frame in FY22, the El Paso Sector apprehended 5,077 UACs.

El Paso Sector led the nation in the first quarter of FY23 with total migrant encounters across all 20 U.S. Border Patrol Sectors.

In addition, agents thwarted numerous dangerous human smuggling schemes in the New Mexico and West Texas region.

Agents identified and located 52 stash houses with 628 smuggled migrants, many of them living in deplorable conditions, according to the release.

Agents also apprehend 37 individuals with criminal records, rescued 61 migrants including young children, some abandoned in the remote desert, and intercepted 22 narcotic loads.

“The first quarter of FY2023 demonstrated the complexity of the Southwest border, with the recent migrant influx, and the challenges that our agents and migrants face during these times” said El Paso Sector Acting Chief Patrol Agent Peter Jaquez. “I am extremely proud of the men and women of the El Paso Sector who continuously display professionalism, commitment, and resiliency while executing our very important National Security Mission.”