U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) ended 2021 with more than 2 million migrant encounters.
December 2021 numbers released Monday showed that border patrol encountered 178,840 migrants at the southern border, a 2% increase from the previous month. The number of encounters in December 2021 was greater than the total number of encounters at the border in the previous three Decembers combined.
Of the migrants encountered in December, 23% of them were previously encountered by border agents in the last year. Single adults made up 64% of the encounters, a 4% increase from November.
In a statement, CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus emphasized that December also showed an increase in seizures of fake products.
“The dedicated men and women at CBP are committed to ensuring dangerous drugs and counterfeit products are off the streets, our communities are kept safe, and our borders are secured,” Magnus said.
“Equally important to our mission is facilitating lawful trade and travel that is critical to the sustained growth of the U.S. economy. In December, CBP collected more than $9 billion in estimated duties, and also saw a dramatic increase in the confiscation of fake products,” the CBP commissioner said. “In one port of entry alone, CBP officers reported the seizure of more than $30 million of counterfeit goods last month. Other key metrics show an uptick as well. There was a staggering $3.31 billion worth of counterfeit goods seized in FY21 – a 153 percent increase from FY20; heroin seizures increased by 113 percent in December. These seizures demonstrate that our intelligence and operational abilities are disrupting criminal enterprises and safeguarding legitimate commerce. We will continue to strengthen these capabilities and meet these challenges and future ones with the same determination and resolve.”
Of the total migrant encounters in December 2021, 78,589 were processed for expulsion under the Title 42 public health order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, and 100,251 of the migrants were processed for expulsion under Title 8 for inadmissibility.
A CBP delegation traveled to Mexico in early December to coordinate with the Mexican government in addressing the ongoing crisis at the southern border.
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