Illegal Mexico-US Border Crossings Fall to Lowest Level Since Biden Took Office

Fewer than 100,000 people were detained trying to cross the border into the US in June, the lowest figure in two years

Photo: John Moore/Getty Images)
July 20, 2023 | 11:20 AM

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Bloomberg Línea — Illegal border crossings into the US from Mexico reached their lowest level since President Joe Biden’s first full month in office, according to information from US Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

Border officials apprehended 99,545 people along the border, marking the first time this number has fallen below 100,000 since February 2021, and representing a 42% decrease since May.

This decrease comes after the Biden administration implemented a series of measures to curb illegal immigration following the lifting of Title 42 that was in force during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The number of people arriving at the US border in June, including those who showed up at ports of entry with or without an appointment through the government’s CBP One application, totaled just under 145,000 people, representing a 30% decrease from May and the second lowest number in two years.

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The Biden administration attributes this decrease to its “carrot-stick response” policy, a combination of harsh consequences for those who illegally cross the border and the expansion of legal avenues and processes for those who legally enter the country.

“Our sustained efforts to enforce consequences under our longstanding Title 8, combined with expanded access to legal avenues and processes, have driven the number of migrant encounters along the southwest border to its lowest levels in more than two years. We will remain vigilant,” Troy A. Miller, a senior Customs and Border Protection official, said in a statement.

The restriction that immigrants cannot apply for asylum if they cross the border illegally or do not first apply for a safe harbor while passing through another country on their way to the United States was to be evaluated this week by a federal district judge.

Jon S. Tigar, a Barack Obama-nominated federal district judge in Oakland, California, struck down a similar purported transit ban under the Trump administration. If the judge blocks Biden’s asylum ban, the administration would lose its toughest deterrent measure to date.