Despite a slight fall from May, the number of migrant encounters at the U.S.-Mexico border during June was an all-time high for the month, according to data released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on Friday.
According to Friday’s report, the number of migrants encountered during the past month was 207,416, a 14% decrease from May’s 239,416 encounters. 92,274 of those migrants were reportedly expelled immediately under Title 42, the government’s COVID-19 public health policy instituted in June.
Despite an overall decrease from the previous month, June’s numbers represent a record high for the month. June’s data also places the 2022 year-to-date migrant encounter total just above 2 million individuals.
Prior to June, U.S. Border Patrol saw two record-breaking months back-to-back: 234,088 migrants encounters in April, and 239,416 in May. In a statement, CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus tried to dissuade would-be migrants from making the risky — and illegal — journey.
“My message to those considering taking this dangerous journey is simple: this is not an easy passage, the human smugglers only care about your money — not your life or the lives of your loved ones — and you will be placed in removal proceedings if you cross the border without legal authorization and are unable to establish a legal basis to remain,” Magnus said.
In contrast to previous years, migrants attempting to cross the southern border increasingly come from a wider array of home countries — over 100 different nationalities in 2022 alone. This makes it harder for agents to process the thousands of migrants who arrive daily, says one Border Patrol official.
“The countries we’re receiving now — those nationalities are flying in, arriving to the border and they’re having to be processed, and there’s just so many of them that it is posing a challenge to the workforce,” said Yuma Border Patrol Sector Chief Chris Clem.
Despite the mounting chaos at the U.S.-Mexico border, Clem says Border Patrol agents are doing what they can to deal with the problem.
“We continue to evolve with technology and resources not only for our agents, but also for the overall mission, the form of surveillance systems,” Clem said.