July Border Numbers: Context Offers a Fuller Picture 

WASHINGTON, D.C. — July border apprehension numbers released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) indicate a continued increase in migration to the border — one driven by families and children.

CBP reported 212,672 total apprehensions in July, an increase from the June total of 188,829 as part of a troubling spike in arrivals at the border during the hot summer months.

However, total apprehension numbers continue to be inflated by high recidivism rates that, though the percentage has dropped slightly from June, remain three times greater than the 2019 rate and double the average for much of the last decade.

In a continuation from last month, the increase in overall numbers has largely been driven by arriving family units and unaccompanied children. The number of unaccompanied children in particular has risen again to record highs, with 18,962 apprehended in July.

“As migrants continue to flee desperate situations at home, an orderly process at the border — as well as long-term multilateral solutions — should be a Biden administration priority,” said Ali Noorani, President and CEO of the National Immigration Forum. “The administration needs to deploy asylum officers and immigration judges at the border to process claims quickly to ensure the most efficient and humane asylum process possible. It also should expand COVID-19 vaccinations, testing and treatment to keep migrants and border communities safe.

“The administration must continue to address the desperate conditions migrants are fleeing in the first place. Sustainable solutions will require cooperation with partners in Mexico and Central America to address root causes and establish a coordinated border response that balances safety, security and compassion.”

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