Asylum-seeking migrants are taken to a van after they crossed into El Paso, Texas, May 14, 2021. (Jose Luis Gonzalez/Reuters)
U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced on Friday that Border Patrol agents arrested or turned away 188,829 migrants attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border illegally in June.
The number represents the highest monthly total in at least a decade, according to previously published data reviewed by CNN. CBP noted in a press release that agents encountered 123,838 unique individuals in June, meaning that thousands of migrants made multiple attempts to cross the border.
“The large number of expulsions during the pandemic has contributed to a larger-than-usual number of migrants making multiple border crossing attempts,” the release stated. Additionally, “smuggling organizations are abandoning migrants in remote and dangerous areas, leading to a dramatic rise in the number of rescues CBP performs.”
The Biden administration has struggled to manage a major influx of migrants at the southern border. Border agents encountered over 180,000 migrants in May, almost 179,000 in April, and 173,000 in March.
The administration is currently considering a rollback of Trump-era Title 42 regulations, which allow border agents to immediately expel migrants who illegally cross the border back to Mexico. Border agents may stop Title 42 expulsions for families seeking asylum by the end of July, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month. The Trump administration contended that the policy would reduce potential spread of coronavirus in the U.S.
The Biden administration also ended the “Remain in Mexico” policy last month, which required asylum seekers to wait in Mexico while their cases were processed in the U.S.
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