US border authorities encountered more than 2 million migrants, some of whom repeatedly tried to cross the border, in fiscal year 2022, according to newly released US Customs and Border Protection data.
The new data shows a marked increased from fiscal year 2021 when there were more than 1.7 million encounters.
The administration has been grappling with a growing number of migrants at the US-Mexico border over recent months, many of whom are now from Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua.
There were 227,547 migrant encounters along the US-Mexico border in September, up 12 percent from the previous month. The sharp increase in migrants from Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua contributed to the uptick. In September, border authorities apprehended 77,302 migrants from those three nationalities, the data shows. That’s up 245% from September 2021.
“While failing regimes in Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua continued to drive a new wave of migration across the western Hemisphere, the number of Venezuelans arriving at the southern border decreased sharply nearly every day since we launched additional joint actions with Mexico to reduce irregular migration and create a more fair, orderly and safe process for people fleeing the humanitarian and economic crisis in their country,” said CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus in a statement.
The administration continues to rely on a controversial Trump-era pandemic restriction that allows authorities to turn back migrants, resulting in some migrants attempting to cross the border multiple times. Of the 227,547 encounters last month, 19 percent involved people who had tried to cross at least once before in the last 12 months.
Last week, the administration also began to expel Venezuelans back to Mexico. Administration officials have cited that as reason for a recent drop in border crossings by Venezuelan migrants.