Border apprehensions at lowest level since February 2021
Editor’s note: A previous version of this story included incorrect percentages when describing changes in the number of migrants encountered at the border. It has since been updated.
Apprehensions at the southern border decreased in June, driven by a substantial drop in illegal border crossings between ports of entry.
According to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) figures, border officials encountered migrants 144,571 times at the border in June, down 30 percent from the 206,702 encounters a month prior.
While the overall number of encounters dropped, encounters with unauthorized migrants at ports of entry rose month-to-month, a sign that the Biden administration’s efforts to funnel migrants toward ports of entry are working.
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials reported 45,026 encounters at ports of entry in June, up more than 27 percent from 35,315 in May.
That rise stood in contrast with the drop in Border Patrol encounters between ports of entry: 99,545 in June, down 42 percent from 171,387 in May.
The drop in Border Patrol encounters is the second significant contraction in fiscal 2022, after encounters plummeted nearly 40 percent from December to January.
June’s figures show the lowest number of border encounters since President Biden’s first full month in office, with a number nearly identical to former President Trump’s highest posted encounter figures.
In May of 2019, the Trump administration reported 144,116 total encounters, a number that quickly came down, first as a result of Mexico’s crackdown on migrants at its southern border and later because of the coronavirus pandemic.
While the two administrations have differed drastically in style, immigrant advocates say they share substance in many of their border and immigration policies.
The Biden administration in February rolled out new asylum regulations that activists said mirrored Trump’s asylum ban, a charge the White House and DHS vehemently denied.
Those asylum rules have been challenged, and a hearing is scheduled before a federal court Wednesday.
If the asylum rules are blocked, the administration could lose one piece of the puzzle that it’s used to convince migrants to avoid entering the country between ports of entry, and to avail themselves of parole programs designed to help them avoid land crossings altogether.
Updated: 6:47 p.m.
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