The Customs and Border Protection (CBP) encountered over 180,000 migrants trying to get into the U.S. through the southern border in May, the agency announced on Wednesday. This serves as the latest sign that a persistent migrant crisis is happening at the southern border.
CBP reported 180,034 migrant encounters along the border in May – an increase from 178,000 in April and 173,000 in March. These are all record-high numbers recorded in recent years.
The numbers recorded seem to be even more staggering when compared to previous years. In May 2020, only over 23,000 migrant encounters took place, while May 2019 only saw 144,000 encounters.
Migrant Border Crisis Overwhelms Officials
This influx in migration has managed to overwhelm border officials. This led to the Biden administration swiftly trying to set up facilities that would accommodate them. The current administration has also let migrant family units into the country. It does so often even without court dates because Mexico refuses to take back families with young minors.
CBP also noted that they expelled many of the encounters they reported via Title 42 public health protections due to the coronavirus pandemic. Of the 180,000 encounters, CBP expelled 112,302 via Title 42. Many of these encounters are single adults. The agency also noted that Title 42 expulsions may have caused more encounters as these people would have several attempts to get in.
The number of unaccompanied minors from Northern Triangle countries decreased by 23% in May. Although, the count remains very high at 10,765. The current administration said emptying Border Patrol facilities for unaccompanied minors caused the success. It sent the minors to facilities run by Health and Human Services instead.
The Biden administration is under heavy scrutiny for the way it is handling the border crisis. Critics blamed the rescinding of Trump-era policies, including the Migrant Protection Protocols, and the border wall construction, for the significant surge in numbers.
However, the administration had pushed back on the said claim, blaming “root causes” of the crisis in Central America instead. These “root causes” include poverty, corruption, violence, and even climate change.