Illegal immigration at the southern border surged in July as the Biden administration claimed success in implementing new programs for legal entry, The Washington Post reported.
Border Patrol agents made roughly 130,000 arrests at the U.S.-Mexico border in July, in addition to roughly 50,000 migrants who came using the CBP One phone application to enter the country via ports of entry, The Post reported, citing internal U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data. The figures are a substantial increase from June, when illegal migrant encounters had dropped to roughly 99,000, with the Biden administration attributing the decrease to the expansion of its legal entry programs, such as CBP One.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration is defending the new increase in illegal immigration as still low compared to the levels before May 11, when Title 42, the Trump-era public health expulsion order, ended.
“Unlawful border crossings have gone down since our border enforcement plan went into effect and remain well below the levels seen while Title 42 was in effect,” CBP Spokesperson Erin Waters said in a statement, according to The Post. “We remain vigilant and expect to see fluctuations, knowing that smugglers continue to use disinformation to prey on vulnerable individuals.”
Arizona has been an epicenter of the illegal crossings, according to The Post. Migrants from Mexico, Central America and Africa crossed into the state via large groups, overwhelming federal resources.
Tens of thousands of migrants also illegally crossed into Texas’ Rio Grande Valley and Del Rio sectors, where Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has installed wire and a floating buoy barrier, according to The Post.
An increasing number of migrant families crossed illegally as well, according to The Post.
The Biden administration lost a court battle at the end of July to keep a rule that forced authorities to turn away some migrants seeking asylum who passed through a safe country and did not claim asylum there. The administration quickly appealed the decision.
“To be clear, because the district court temporarily stayed its decision, today’s ruling does not change anything immediately,” Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement following the decision.
“It does not limit our ability to deliver consequences for unlawful entry. Do not believe the lies of smugglers. Those who fail to use one of the many lawful pathways we have expanded will be presumed ineligible for asylum and, if they do not have a basis to remain, will be subject to prompt removal, a minimum five-year bar on admission, and potential criminal prosecution for unlawful reentry,” Mayorkas said.
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