By John Roberts , Adam Shaw / title via Instapundit
There were more than 200,000 migrant encounters at the southern border in August, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) confirmed on Wednesday, the second month in a row where the number has been over the 200,000 mark as migrants continue to attempt to enter the U.S.
Fox News first reported that there were 208,887 encounters in August. While it marks the first decrease in migrant encounters seen under the Biden administration, where migrant encounters have been sharply rising for months, it is only a 2% drop over the more than 212,000 encounters in July.
Additionally, the 208,887 number for August represents a 317% increase over last August 2020 which saw 50,014 encounters — and a 233% increase over August 2019, where there were 62,707 amid that year’s border crisis.
In August, 49% of apprehensions were single adults, down 7% from July, and 44% of migrants overall were expelled via Title 42 public health protections put in place under the Trump administration and extended by the Biden administration.
The Biden administration has been expelling single adults and some migrant families under the order, implemented due to COVID-19, but has not been expelling unaccompanied children or migrant families with young children.
There were 18,847 encounters of unaccompanied children in August, down slightly from July, and 86.487 encounters of family units, marking a 4% increase over July. Just 19% of encounters involving family unit individuals resulted in a Title 42 expulsion.
“The men and women at CBP continue to step up to meet the demands of high numbers of encounters at our southern border,” acting CBP Commissioner Troy Miller said in a statement. “CBP recorded 2 percent fewer encounters in August than July. The vast majority of single adults encountered in August, along with a substantial share of families, continued to be expelled under the CDC’s Title 42 authority.”
The Biden administration has faced fierce criticism for its handling of the crisis along the U.S.-Mexico border, which Republican critics have blamed on the dramatic rollback of Trump-era policies like border wall construction and the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP). It has also narrowed interior Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) priorities and pushed hard for legalization of illegal immigrants already in the country. It has also been releasing migrants into the interior, processing UACs to sponsors already in the country and releasing migrant families — angering Republican governors and other lawmakers.
The Biden administration has pushed back, blaming the Trump administration for sealing off legal pathways to asylum, while emphasizing the role that root causes — like poverty, violence and corruption in Central America — play in encouraging migrants to travel north.
DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said the administration intended to continue with its border strategy, which he said involves rebuilding “safe, legal and orderly pathways for migrants,” improving processing, and going after smugglers.
“We have a plan, we are executing our plan and that takes time,” he said last month when he announced the July border numbers.
He also told Border agents in audio leaked to Fox News that the situation is “unsustainable.”
Total CBP encounters by FY (from the CBP website)
FY 2017 526,901
FY 2018 683,178
FY 2019 1,148,024
FY 2020 646,822
FY 2021 1,741,956 (as of August)
With September’s numbers, we should sail right past the previous apprehension record of 1.7 million from FY 2000.
You’re doing a bang-up job getting the border sorted out, Kneepads.