Over quarter of a million migrant encounters in December alone, CBP confirms
Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Friday night confirmed that December saw more than 250,000 migrants crossing the southern border. This is a new record for the Biden-era border crisis, which enters its third year.
For the month of December there were 251,487 migrants who crossed the southern border. This is more than the 179.253 and 73.994 encounters in December 2020.
Fox News was informed by sources earlier this week that encounters will exceed 250,000. This is more than the historic peak of 2022, when numbers reached 241,136 in May, in the typically busy summer months.
This brings the total number of encounters for FY 2023 to 717660, which started on Oct. 1. 66.78% of the migrants encountered were single adults, which is 479,229.
This figure is the result of two years of a record-breaking migrant crises that have overwhelmed communities, created tensions among cities in the U.S. inner over the bussing and caused significant political headaches for the administration.
December was markedly uncertain with significant back-and forth over Title 42 status. Title 42 has been used to quickly expel migrants at border since March 2020. On Dec. 21, a court ordered that the public health order be canceled. The Supreme Court halted the end of the public health order because of uncertainty. Migrants flooded to the border in protest at the order.
Some Democrats and Republicans expressed concern that the end of the order would cause an increase in border encounters. Biden’s administration stated that it has a plan to handle additional numbers and repeatedly claimed that the border is not open, regardless of Title 42 ending.
“Of course, the numbers will increase when Republican elected officials like smugglers falsely declare the border is open due to a court order lifting Title 42,” an administration official said Friday to Fox News Digital.
Officials also stated that the October announcements to address a surge of Venezuelan migrants were working. They combined a limited humanitarian parole program and expanded removals under Title 42. CBP released a statement saying that encounters have dropped 82% since September. They fell from approximately 1,100 per day the week prior to the announcement, to around 100 per day in December.
The official stated that “despite their misinformation, our frontier enforcement measures continue to hold firm with the number of Venezuelan citizens arriving at the border illegally continuing to fall dramatically.”
Republicans blame the Biden administration for Trump-era border protections like the Migrant Protection Protocols. They also blame it for its efforts to tighten interior immigration enforcement and push for citizenship pathways for millions illegal immigrants.
While the Biden administration has blamed Republicans for failing pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill in Congress, it also praised its efforts to crackdown on international smuggling and increase cooperation with Western Hemisphere nations as well as expanding legal asylum avenues that were closed during the previous administration.
Alejandro Mayorkas, DHS Secretary, said Thursday that he was executing a comprehensive strategy in order to secure our borders and create a safe and orderly immigration system within a broken system that is in dire need of legislative reform.
Mayorkas stressed that the migration problem is global and that mass migration has been a major issue in his hemisphere.
The administration has shown a more aggressive approach to enforcement in this month’s case. Biden, President, visited El Paso, Texas to announce that Title 42 expulsions for Venezuelans and the parole program will be extended to include Nicaraguans, Cubans, and Haitians.
DHS also introduced a rule to make migrants ineligible to asylum if they have passed through a safe country but failed to claim asylum. This move was condemned by left-wing groups and the United Nations.
Fox News Digital was informed by a source that CBP has the potential to have the lowest number of encounters since February 2021 due to the enforcement measures in place.
Troy Miller, the acting CBP Commissioner, stated in a statement that data showed that the measures were working.
“Our new border enforcement measures work as our December update shows. He said that although overall encounters increased due to smugglers spreading misinformation about the Title 42 public-health order, we continue to see a sharp decrease in the number Venezuelans illegally crossing our southwest frontier, down 82% since September 2022.” Early data suggests that the increased measures for Cubans and Nicaraguans is having an equal impact. We look forward to sharing more data in the next update.
The new numbers will likely only increase political pressure on Mayorkas’ administration. He is currently facing calls for Mayorkas’ impeachment by Republicans. They have gained the House majority this month, and have promised to make the border crisis a priority. This week, the House Oversight Committee announced that it would hold a hearing about the crisis in February.