New figures released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) this month reveal that attempted crossings at the southern border reached their highest levels in September. The recent figures show a large spike in border crossings since the Biden White House announced that it was ending the Title 42 Asylum policy initiated by former President Donald Trump.
According to CBP, there were almost 270,000 migrant encounters last month, including almost 220,000 cases of individuals attempting to enter the country illegally. The statistics from last month brought the total number of migrant encounters to almost 2.5 million in fiscal year 2023. This figure was higher than last year’s almost 2.4 million.
In fiscal year 2021, the number of crossings was lower, at just over 1.7 million. This is significantly larger than the figures under Trump. In fiscal year 2020, there were fewer than a half million such encounters.
Among those who entered the county last month, more than 40,000 were released into the United States for future court appointments.
The crossing figures include 18 individuals who are on the United States’ terrorist watch list. Overall, there have been almost 170 individuals on the terror watch list encountered in the 2023 fiscal year. This is the highest number yet recorded.
CBP Acting Commissioner Troy Miller said that the country was grappling “in response to high rates of encounters.” He also said that the agency would “remain vigilant, making operational adjustments as necessary and enforcing consequences under U.S. immigration law.”
The recent statistics came with significant criticism for the Biden administration. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said that his state would “use every tool available to respond.”
The governor said that he was calling a special session of the Texas state legislature to “criminalize illegal entry & authorize licensed law enforcement to remove immigrants who enter Texas illegally.”
Abbott’s administration began a state-level effort to stop illegal border crossings. Operation Lone Star has resulted in thousands of migrant apprehensions. The state’s efforts were challenged by the White House.
Illegal border crossings hit ANOTHER record high for September.
Texas will use every tool available to respond.
I called Special Session #3 to criminalize illegal entry & authorize licensed law enforcement to remove immigrants who enter Texas illegally.https://t.co/ZGcpfJbouM
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) October 19, 2023