WASHINGTON, D.C. — Official June border numbers released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on Friday indicate the scale of challenges at the U.S.-Mexico border — but they don’t tell the whole story.
Notably, CBP reported that it has encountered fewer unique individuals this fiscal year to date (454,944) than during the same period in 2019 (489,760).
A big reason: The number of encounters is significantly inflated by high recidivism rates. While pandemic-era Title 42 restrictions allow border officials to immediately expel migrants, they lack the severe consequences of regular removals and can incentivize people to make multiple attempts to enter the United States. Many do and are counted each time before they are expelled again. The use of Title 42 is expected to be phased out this summer.
“When looking at the latest border numbers, the impact of Title 42 is critical to understanding what’s really going on,” said Ali Noorani, President and CEO of the National Immigration Forum. “Increased apprehensions signal the serious push factors at work that are forcing families and children to make the dangerous journey. The administration must continue its work to address root causes of migration and establish an orderly but humane process at the border.
“Securing our border and treating migrants compassionately are not mutually exclusive goals.”