New data shows a near triple increase in number of migrant families with kids crossing U.S. border in last two months
The new data could cause concerns within the Biden Administration who’d seen a decrease in border crossings since the end of Title 42 in May.
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According to Customs and Border Protection data obtained by NBC News, the U.S. and Mexico border has seen an uptick in the number of migrant families with children crossing the southern border — nearly triple — in the last two months.
Earlier this week, over 2,230 migrants were crossing the border daily on average, compared to 790 in early June.
Single adults are still the largest demographic seen at the border, but families are the fastest-growing demographic of crossing migrants according to the data. Many of the migrants are from northern Central America and Mexico, according to the data.
According to three senior Department of Homeland Security officials who spoke to NBC News on the condition of anonymity, said they are closely monitoring the number of families crossing because of the growing concern the numbers could go back to near record highs.
Since the end of the Trump Administration’s COVID restrictions, known as Title 42, in mid-May, the number of those crossing the border without documents or appointments for asylum hearings dropped to fewer than 145,000, compared to more than 207,000 in May.
Should current trends continue, over 160,000 migrants could cross the border without documents or appointments over the course of August. Migrants who cross the border as part of families with one or more children under age 18 are not put in immigration detention under the current Biden administration policy.
Critics argue migrants are incentivized to bring children with them because they are more likely to be released to pursue asylum claims.
Administration officials considered detention of families as a way of discouraging migrants from crossing the border but DHS officials thought numbers would increase after the end of Title 42, and decided it was inhumane.
In a statement, a DHS spokesperson said, “Families encountered at the border are being processed through Expedited Removal with strict conditions, including continuous monitoring and home curfews. DHS has already removed families through this new non-detained enforcement process.”
“CBP has surged personnel and transportation resources to strategic locations to respond to migrant encounters. We are continually evaluating operations and working with partner governments to address changes in migration flows throughout the hemisphere.”
Under the current administration, a new program in which recently arrived migrant families in four U.S. cities are placed on curfews and the heads of their households must wear ankle monitors until their immigration court dates are being used.
According to the three senior officials who spoke on anonymity, other policy options, including expanding the areas where migrant families are placed on ankle monitors pending their immigration proceedings may be possible.