- CPB said the number represents migrants detected by authorities but not apprehended
- Around 251,487 illegal entry encounters were recorded at the U.S.-Mexico border in December
- Mexicans and Northern Central American migrants accounted for 42%
Around 1.2 million illegal migrants have evaded authorities while crossing the United States-Mexico border since President Joe Biden assumed office in January 2021, border protection sources reported.
The country’s unified border entity told Fox News that the number represents migrants detected by authorities but not apprehended.
Just for the fiscal year 2023, which started last October, the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) already saw an estimated 718,000 border encounters in the first 100 days.
Based on CBP’s December 2022 data, released on Friday, 251,487 illegal entry encounters have been recorded at the U.S.-Mexican border, a seven percent increase compared to the previous month.
President Biden has been criticized for the administration’s handling of the border since border encounters rose from 101,000 in February 2021 to 251,000 in December 2022, per CBP.
The migrant border surge in December 2022 came amid the impending expiration of Title 42, which allows Border Patrol officials to quickly return migrants to Mexico to fight the spread of COVID-19.
The border entity, however, said they were seeing a shift in migration patterns, with migrants from Mexico and northern Central America accounting for only 24% of unique encounters in December, a huge drop from 42% a year ago.
“Of the total unique encounters at the Southwest Land Border in December 2022, 77,043 were from Cuba or Nicaragua, which represents 36% of unique encounters,” CPB reported. “Individuals from Mexico and northern Central America accounted for 52,776 unique encounters in December 2022, which represents 24% of unique encounters and a 6% drop from December 2021.”
“By comparison, Mexicans and Northern Central American migrants accounted for 24% of unique encounters in December 2021,” CBP added.
The White House announced that it would expand and expedite legal pathways to combat illegal migration.
The administration also said it would increase resources to the border and the region to scale up its anti-smuggling operations and expand coordination and support for border cities and non-governmental organizations.