A news release issued Friday afternoon by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reported that encounters between agents and borders along the southwestern border hit a new 20-year high in June, beating May's numbers by five percent. The agency's operational statistics for last month demonstrated that
Getting to the border and crossing into the United States is becoming increasingly dangerous for both agents and migrants, CBP Acting Commissioner Troy Miller said. While the agency does its best to rescue migrants in distress, especially during summer months:
“[T]he terrain along the border is extreme, the summer heat is severe, and the miles of desert migrants must hike after crossing the border in many areas are unforgiving.”
“[We're] seeing a high number of distress calls to CBP from migrants abandoned in treacherous terrain by smugglers with no regard for human life.”
CBP agents reported 188,829 encounters in June with migrants trying to gain entry into the United States. This number represents a five percent increase over May's 20-year high. So much for the “extreme progress” Kamala Harris claims the administration has made.
While administration officials claim this is “seasonal migration,” Fox News Channel national correspondent Bill Melugin, who has spent most of the last two months at the Texas/Mexico border, said normally migration slows during the hot summer months instead of increasing – and uses CBP's own chart to dispute their numbers.
There is no way to spin these numbers. This is not seasonal migration. It’s not slowing down in the extreme heat like it normally does, it is only getting worse. We’ve now had 3 straight months over 170,000 apprehensions.
And when Title 42 goes away, expect an even bigger jump.
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) July 16, 2021
This CBP chart shows the trends for Biden’s 2021 border surge (blue) vs Trump’s 2019 border surge (orange).
Trump’s numbers fell off a cliff after May 2019. Biden’s are continuing to surge up after May 2021. pic.twitter.com/8ClNyzPCaY
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) July 16, 2021
The report also indicates that a significant number of those trying to enter the U.S. had previous encounters with the Border Patrol in the last year:
Thirty-four percent of encounters in June 2021 were individuals who had at least one prior encounter in the previous 12 months, compared to an average one-year re-encounter rate of 14 percent for Fiscal Years 2014-2019.
While single adults make up the bulk of migrant encounters, the Biden administration recently warned Border Patrol that it would “have to process up to 1,200 family units a day” after the president ends Title 42, which is a measure that former President Donald Trump used to prevent migrants from entering the U.S. according to the Washington Free Beacon.
Encounters with unaccompanied minors also jumped from 14,137 in May to 15,253 in June. This represents an eight percent increase. CBP's report also noted that the number of kids in custody decreased from 5,767 in March to 832 in June, which is a notable improvement considering the difficulties the Biden administration has experienced in uniting minors with relatives already residing in the U.S. Moreover, the report notes that “the average time in custody for unaccompanied children fell from 133 hours on March 29 to 28 hours on June 30, 2021.”
The CBP also detailed a notable rise in the number of rescues carried out by its agents in June. The agency noted that this increase is due to smugglers abandoning migrants in “remote and dangerous areas.” CBP performed 9,500 rescue operations in June, which is 81 percent higher than all rescues conducted last year.
The rise in encounters at the border seems to show that this crisis is not going to abate anytime soon. This could cause more of a problem given that CBP is already stretched thin with the effort to process those seeking asylum while also apprehending those who attempt to cross the border illegally. Concerningly, this situation has also empowered Mexican drug cartels.
The fact that unaccompanied minors are being processed more quickly and the number of kids coming to the border has decreased is a welcome sign. However, the Biden administration still has a long way to go before it can rectify the problem it caused. At this point, it is still uncertain whether or not the president is up to the task.