Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Illegal Mexico-US border crossings hit three-year low after Biden’s executive order

United States President Joe Biden’s new border policy appears to be working.

Illegal crossings into the United States from Mexico declined in June to their lowest monthly level in more than three years, according to preliminary U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data obtained by CBS News.

CBS reported that CBP processed approximately 84,000 migrants who crossed the Mexico-United States border without authorization in June. That’s the lowest number since January 2021, the month Biden took office.

The number of migrant apprehensions last month represents a 29% decrease compared to May, when CBP made 118,000 arrests.

Biden issued an executive order on June 4 that prevented migrants from making asylum claims at the U.S.-Mexico border at times when crossings between legal ports of entry surge.

The new asylum rule — described by the New York Times as “the most restrictive border policy instituted by Mr. Biden, or any other modern Democrat” — has allowed U.S. immigration officials “to more quickly deport larger numbers of migrants,” CBS reported.

U.S. President Joe Biden at a press conference
In early June, Biden announced new restrictions on asylum seekers at the Mexico-US border. (White House)

However, migrant apprehensions were falling even before the new rule took effect. Border Patrol agents arrested 141,000 migrants in February; 137,000 in March; and 129,000 in April.

A major reason for the decline this year — after arrests reached a record monthly high of almost 250,000 last December — is that Mexican authorities have ramped up enforcement against undocumented migrants.

The National Immigration Institute recently said that almost 1.4 million undocumented foreigners were “rescued” and taken to detention centers or facilities operated by the DIF family services agency in the first five months of the year. In addition to sending migrants to detention centers, Mexican immigration authorities “round them up across the country and dump them in the southern Mexican cities of Villahermosa and Tapachula,” the Associated Press reported in June

Following a meeting with U.S. officials in December, Mexican authorities also increased efforts to stop migrants boarding northbound buses and trains.

CBS suggested that yet another factor in the decline in recent months of migrants crossing the Mexico-U.S. border is the increase in temperatures in spring and summer. Migrants often attempt to enter the U.S. in remote desert regions where the heat can be deadly.

However, Biden’s executive order — which includes exemptions for unaccompanied minors — is the main reason why migrant crossings fell again in June, unnamed senior U.S. officials told CBS news.

CBS reported that “in the past week, the average of daily migrant apprehensions fell below 2,000 — or nearly half of May’s 3,800 average, internal CBP data show.”

A group of migrants, mostly men, line up in front of two border agents in green uniforms near the border wall on June 6, two days after Biden issued the executive order.
U.S. Border Patrol officers process a group of migrants near the border wall on June 6, two days after Biden issued the executive order. (Omar Martínez/Cuartoscuro)

“That number is also close to the 1,500 threshold the Biden administration set to suspend the asylum restrictions,” it added.

Andrew Selee, president of the think tank Migration Policy Institute, acknowledged the downward trend in border crossings this year. However, he highlighted that the biggest month-over-month drop occurred in June.

“The numbers have been going down before the presidential announcement, but they went down a lot more afterwards, so I think you have to give some credit to that,” he said.

“We have to assume, if nothing else, that in the short term it has dissuaded some people,” Selee added.

Biden highlighted during last Thursday’s presidential debate in the U.S. that illegal border crossings had declined since he issued his executive order on June 4.

Former U.S. president Donald Trump described the reduction as “insignificant” and accused Biden of wanting “open borders.”

“He wants our country to either be destroyed or he wants to pick up those people as voters. And we just can’t let it happen,” Trump said.

With reports from CBS News 

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