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Southern Border Migrant Encounters Increased In February

Border officials encountered 164,973 migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border in February, according to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announcement Tuesday.

The figure represents a 7% increase from January’s encounters, according to CBP.

CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus said in a statement that February’s overall operational numbers result from “the continued economic rebound from the depths of the COVID pandemic, with CBP officers processing more than 2.8 million shipments in legitimate trade valued at more than $236 billion.”

Magnus also acknowledged the “slight uptick” in encounters, saying that most of the migrants encountered arrived from Mexico and Central America. Magnus said the majority of noncitizens were returned to their home countries under Title 42.

“CBP also continues to successfully interdict illegal narcotics through our expanded use of non-intrusive inspection technology (NII) and other strategies,” Magnus said. “As with every monthly update, February’s report highlights the tremendous breadth and scope of work that the men and women of CBP carry out every single day to safeguard our borders and support our economy.”

Of all border encounters, 30% of migrants had been encountered by border officials at least once in the last year, according to the announcement.

Single adults comprised 126,151 of those encountered, an 11% increase from January. Unaccompanied minors encountered increased by 37% to 12,011, compared to the 8,760 encountered in January, according to CBP.

Border officials processed 91,513 migrants, 55% of all encounters, for return under Title 42, and they processed 73,460 under Title 8, deeming them inadmissible, according to the announcement.

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