EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — The number of migrant encounters along the southwest border rose significantly for the second consecutive month after falling to some of the Biden administration’s lowest levels.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection released monthly data that shows a 27% increase in migrant encounters along the Southwest border from July to August. For the U.S. Border Patrol alone, the monthly numbers show a 37 percent increase from July to August.
July also saw an increase from the previous month, a 26% jump from June.
But monthly migrant encounters had begun falling after the May 11 expiration of Title 42, a public health rule that allowed border agents to immediately expel migrants as a way to stop the cross-border spread of COVID-19.
At the end of June, migrant encounters had fallen to 144,566, a 30 percent drop from the previous month.
A surge of Venezuelan migrants lifted total migrant encounters in April (211,999) and May (206,701). However, the number of people who surrendered to Border Patrol agents from May 12-31 was only two-fifths of the total for the month, according to Border Report archives.
The Department of Homeland Security resumed Title 8 enforcement, a lengthier process that places migrants in removal proceedings and comes with legal consequences, including a five-year entry ban for those who enter the United States illegally, and up to a 20-year ban for repeat offenders. Under the new rules, asylum-seekers are expected to apply for an appointment via the CBP One app.
Federal officials said they believed the threats of removal and bans would deter unauthorized migration, and it did briefly.
However, migrant encounters shot up 26% from June to July, and the latest data shows another 27% increase from 183,494 in July to 232,972 in August. Border Patrol apprehensions had a sharper increase, going from 132,648 to 181,059, or up 37%, from July to August.
The Border Patrol’s Tucson Sector reported the highest number of migrant apprehensions with 48,753. Not far behind was the Rio Grande Valley Sector, where U.S. Border Patrol agents apprehended 46,536 migrants in August.
Up until this week, the Tucson Sector had been the epicenter of migration. However, thousands of migrants, mostly from Venezuela, have crossed illegally into Eagle Pass, Texas, in recent days. Eagle Pass is in the Del Rio Sector, which reported just under 30,000 migrant apprehensions in August.
Even though single adults make up the majority of migrant apprehensions, the number of families crossing the border illegally has gone steadily up in the past three years. So far this fiscal year, border agents and officers at ports of entry have encountered 697,722 family units, which is a 24% increase from the last year (560,646), and a 45% percent increase from FY 2021 (479,728).