U.S.-Mexico border apprehensions reach highest numbers in years
Customs and Border Protection released figures showing a major increase in migrants stopped at the border in 2021.
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During fiscal year 2021, which ended on Sept. 30, the highest number of migrants intercepted at the border was recorded at 1.7 million, surpassing 977,000 in 2019 and three times higher than the average of the last decade.
The data was published by The Washington Post, which had access to the figures before they were officially published by the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and, pending the counting of the last month, reported that between October 2020 to last August, more than 1.5 million people had been registered by U.S. immigration authorities.
Of that number, and in the same period, more than 930,000 people were expelled from the country thanks to a health measure called Title 42, which allows the vast majority of immigrants and asylum seekers who arrive in the country with COVID-19 as an argument to be returned to Mexico.
Biden and border crossings
Illegal crossings began to increase last year, but spiked in the months following Biden's inauguration.
While arrests began to increase in the Spring, the busiest months came during the sweltering heat of July and August, when more than 200,000 migrants were apprehended.
Since the beginning of his term, Biden offered a more "humane" immigration policy, halted construction of the border wall, ended Trump's 'Stay in Mexico' policy, reversed some asylum restrictions, and announced a 100-day pause to most deportations and enforcement by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
The massive influx of immigrants during this past year put the Biden Administration on edge, unleashing a wave of criticism from Republicans, who reproached Democrats for suspending Trump measures that, in their view, had immigration under control.
Border control has become a major policy deficiency for the current president, and immigration management remains his worst problem as polls show.