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According to a top Customs and Border Protection official, the number of migrant encounters at the southwest border between ports of entry has significantly reduced.

Border officials have reported a 25% decrease in such encounters since President Biden’s executive action on migrants entering the United States illegally and then claiming asylum. Troy Miller, the acting commissioner of CBP, added, “Our enforcement efforts are continuing to reduce southwest border encounters. But the fact remains that our immigration system is not resourced for what we are seeing.”

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Despite the reduction, it is not unusual to see illegal entry numbers dip following major policy announcements. For instance, after the expiration of Title 42, a pandemic-era expulsion policy, there was a 41% decrease in Border Patrol encounters from May to June 2023. According to Kinney County Sheriff Brad Coe, whose county is a hotspot for illegal migration, such declines often suggest that both migrants and smugglers are adopting a cautious approach, waiting to understand the impact of the new US policies before making any moves.

What did Biden’s executive action do?:
Under President Biden’s executive action, most migrants intercepted between ports of entry are not eligible for asylum screenings and may face rapid expulsion to Mexico, expedited deportation to their home countries, and other criminal and administrative penalties. However, the rule does not affect migrants entering the US through designated programs, such as those using the CBP One app for scheduled appointments.

This comes as a recent poll by gallup revealed that a record-high 55% of US adults, up eight points from last year, say that “large numbers of immigrants entering the United States illegally” is a critical threat to US vital interests. The prior high was 50% in 2004.


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