U.S. southern border sees 2 million migrant encounters for first time in one fiscal year

More than two million migrant encounters have occurred along the U.S.-Mexico border in fiscal year 2022 as of August.

This is an all-time high and driven partly by an increased influx of people coming from what U.S. Customs and Border Patrol refer to as the failing communist regimes of Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua. They comprised 35% of the migrant encounters at the U.S.-Mexico border in August 2022. There was a 175% increase in people from these countries being spotted around the border over the past year.

"Failing communist regimes in Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Cuba are driving a new wave of migration across the Western Hemisphere, including the recent increase in encounters at the southwest U.S. border," CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus said in a press release. "Our dedicated teams of skilled agents continue to work around the clock to secure our border and safely and humanely process and vet every individual encountered, but those fleeing repressive regimes pose significant challenges for processing and removal."

There were 203,598 migrant encounters at the southern border last month. Most were apprehensions (181,160) of migrants who entered the country illegally. A much smaller portion (22,427) were migrants and asylum-seekers processed at legal ports of entry.

With one month left of the fiscal year, CBP agents along the southern border had encountered more than 2.1 million migrants.

That beat the record set in fiscal year 2021 (1.7 million migrant encounters).

About one million of the migrants encountered at the border have been expelled to Mexico or another country subject to Title 42, which was used to mitigate the spread of coronavirus. Title 42 does not carry any criminal or immigration penalties, unlike other deportations.

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