Illegal border crossings spike in Arizona after false rumors circulate about CBP vulnerabilities
The month-to-month increase was driven by a large number of families crossing the border, which almost doubled between the two months and led to 60,161 arrests
August 22, 2023 11:14pm
Updated: August 22, 2023 11:14pm
The number of undocumented migrant apprehensions by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents at the U.S.-Mexico border increased between June and July, according to new data released by the agency on Friday.
The number of migrant encounters along the southern border in July increased to 132,652 from 99,545 in June. According to officials, the month-to-month increase was driven by a large number of families crossing the border, which almost doubled between the two months and led to 60,161 arrests. Nearly 40% of the migrant families were coming from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.
Apprehensions of adult migrants stood at around 62,000 in July, according to the CBP. Additionally, more than 10,000 unaccompanied children were processed by CBP agents in July, representing a 50% increase from June.
"We remain vigilant and continue to adjust our operational plans to maximize enforcement efforts against those individuals who do not use lawful pathways or processes, knowing that smugglers continue to use disinformation to prey on vulnerable individuals," acting CBP Commissioner Troy Miller said in a statement.
While the figure for July represents a significant increase month-to-month, it still marks a decrease from the 181,834 migrants intercepted along the southern border in July 2022.
By the end of July 2023, around 41,000 Cubans, 72,000 Haitians, 34,000 Nicaraguans, and 63,000 Venezuelans crossed the U.S.-Mexico border to seek asylum, according to the statistics.
The area that reported the highest number of migrant encounters was the Tucson Sector in Arizona, due to false advertising by human smugglers claiming it is easier to cross the border there. Tucson reported 39,215 arrests in July, increasing by 60% from the arrests seen in June and more than double those seen in July 2022.
The number of migrant apprehensions has decreased after the pandemic-era policy Title 42 was lifted on May 11. According to a senior DHS official, at the beginning of May, CBP officers were processing almost 6,000 people a day—a number which has now decreased to just over 2,000.
"We've seen those encounters dropped significantly over 66% from early May to post Title 42," the official told news reporters on Friday. "And we've seen most encounters hold flat from time to time."