Illegal Border Crossings Spike in May

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"SEAC visits Southern Border" by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is licensed under CC BY 2.0

In May, Customs and Border Protection detained 180,034 people illegally entering the country, the most in 21 years.

The bulk (more than 112,000) were ejected underneath the Title 42 emergency medical provision, according to the agency.


“SEAC visits Southern Border” by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is licensed under CC BY 2.0

In March 2020, former President Donald Trump signed Title 42; this effectively closed America’s borders to non-essential travel in an effort to stem the spreading of COVID-19.

It permitted border agents to turn back unlawful, undocumented immigrants relatively quickly; this happened rather than detaining them in Immigration and Customs custody for a longer process of deportation under Section 8.

What Happens to Undocumented Migrants?

According to Troy Miller, temporary commissioner for Customs and Border Protection, unaccompanied children and many family units have already been spared from Title 42; although, single individuals from Spanish-speaking countries are almost all still susceptible to a swift deportation.

However, Border Patrol is facing an increase in illegal aliens from non-Spanish speaking countries; this comes particularly from Brazil and Haiti, which Miller claims were not deported.


Unaccompanied juveniles and persons inside family units were apprehended in greater numbers in May than in April, but still accounted for more than 33,000 arrests.

The majority of these people are released into the United States with a Notice to Report (indicating they must report to an ICE office after they’ve settled) or an Order of Appearance (a date to appear in immigration court).

According to CBP, the restrictions under Title 42 resulted in a greater-than-typical rate of recidivism for illegal crossings, as single adults seek to cross and elude capture.

They Keep Coming Back

Individuals who had at least one prior interaction in the previous 12 months made up 38 percent of Border Patrol apprehensions in May. According to CBP, the average one-year re-encounter rate over the prior five years was roughly 15%.


According to figures received by The Epoch Times, Border Patrol discovered, but did not apprehend, more than 51,000 unlawful border crossers in May.

The Biden administration is under criticism to lift the Title 42 restrictions and has indicated it may do so. The director of ICE, on the other hand, stated that its removal is his top priority.

When Title 42 is removed, ICE will have to accommodate the 3,500 to 3,800 single individuals that the Border Patrol arrests on a daily basis.

ICE, on the other hand, is running at a lower capacity than it was during the previous border spike in 2019.

In 2019, ICE had roughly 55,000 detention beds; however, the capacity was lowered to 30,000 beds in the fiscal 2021 budget package. This is just enough beds for less than two weeks at present immigrant arrival rates.

Meanwhile, Vice President Kamala Harris is already in Mexico and Guatemala. She will meet with officials from the Biden administration to explore the core reasons for the massive influx of illegal immigrants into the US.