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Migrant encounters at the US southwest border significantly increased nearly 27% from July to August.
According to US officials, recorded encounters with migrants illegally entering the United States reached 232,972 in August, a significant rise from 183,494 in July. According to US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data, most of these were apprehensions made away from established ports of entry.
Troy Miller, acting commissioner of CBP, highlighted, “CBP remains vigilant in the face of ruthless smugglers and transnational criminal organizations who exploit vulnerable migrants.”
Officials say the surge is largely attributed to sophisticated smuggling networks adapting to deterrence measures across the US, Mexico, and Central America. Miller elaborated, “Our operational tempo along the border has increased in response to increased encounters, and we remain squarely focused on our broader security mission and enforcing US immigration laws.” The Panamanian government also noted a substantial rise in crossings into Panama from Colombia, with most migrants being Venezuelans.
Recent spikes in border encounters have led to political critique, notably from GOP members targeting the Biden administration’s border and immigration approaches.
Despite the increases in migrant crossings, CBP identified a decrease in repeated border crossing attempts since the end of the Title 42 policy. August’s data indicated that only 11% of apprehended migrants had made prior attempts within the past year, contrasting with a 35% rate from August 2022.