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Unprecedented Migrant Encounters at U.S. Borders, Almost One Million in the first 3 Months of F24

A Deep Dive into Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Data

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 This figure is part of an alarming trend that has culminated in nearly a million arrests in the first three months of the fiscal year 2024. USCBP Imager for illustration purposes
This figure is part of an alarming trend that has culminated in nearly a million arrests in the first three months of the fiscal year 2024. USCBP Imager for illustration purposes
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By Roberto Hugo González

In a recent revelation by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the United States is witnessing an unprecedented surge in migrant encounters and apprehensions at its borders. According to the data published by @DHSgov, December 2023 alone saw a staggering 371,036 immigrants arrested. This figure is part of an alarming trend that has culminated in nearly a million arrests in the first three months of the fiscal year 2024.

The DHS reports indicate a significant uptick in migrant activity at the U.S. borders. To put this into perspective, the number of immigrants arrested in December 2023 outstrips any monthly figures in recent years. 

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This sharp increase points towards a complex mix of geopolitical, economic, and social factors driving people to seek entry into the United States.

The current level of migrant encounters at the U.S. border presents several challenges that raise questions about its sustainability.

Firstly, the sheer volume of migrants, as evidenced by the rising numbers of encounters, is placing a significant strain on the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the overall immigration enforcement system. The system was primarily designed to deter single adults seeking work, but now it’s increasingly dealing with families and unaccompanied minors, a shift in demographics that the system isn’t easily adapting to. This mismatch between the system’s design and the evolving nature of migrant encounters adds pressure to an already overwhelmed border​​.

The humanitarian aspect of this crisis cannot be overlooked. The conditions in the migrants’ home countries, including violence, poverty, and persecution, are driving people to seek safety in the U.S… Unfortunately, law enforcement agencies have encountered terrorist and undesirables, and many of them a got away.

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Additionally, the situation has led to the emergence of informal migrant camps in Mexican border towns under dire conditions, as migrants are waiting to attempt crossing again.

In Fiscal Year 2023, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) documented over 2.4 million encounters at the Southwest border and upwards of 3.2 million encounters across the nation. The year 2022 saw 2,766,582 encounters, while 2021 recorded 1,956,519 encounters.

These figures represent a significant increase from previous years and reflect a situation that is increasingly difficult to manage with the current resources and policies​​, which is now unsustainable.

In summary, while the U.S. is attempting to manage this unprecedented level of migrant encounters with various policies and strategies, the current approach is facing challenges in terms of adaptability, sustainability, and addressing the humanitarian needs of the migrants, which is unsustainable. 

The U.S. border is not open in the sense of allowing unrestricted migration. The United States has laws and processes in place for legal immigration that are not being implemented adequately, and the current influx of migrants at the border, particularly undocumented ones, poses significant challenges and created a crisis. Voices throughout the US are saying that the migrant influx is an invasion, and some of the FOXnews contributors say that the US is under a Marxist government style.  

On the other hand, the issue of concertina wire at the U.S.-Mexico border is contentious. Texas officials argue that the wire is effective in deterring illegal border crossings and assists Texas border personnel. In the meantime, the Justice Department contends that the wire hinders the ability of U.S. Border Patrol agents to effectively patrol the border, including responding to migrants in need of help. This disagreement reflects broader differences in approaches to border enforcement and immigration policy between state and federal authorities. The Supreme Court’s decision allowing Border Patrol to cut the wire adds another dimension to this ongoing debate.

However, it seems that the most effective measures in curbing illegal migration are being undertaken by the states bordering the U.S. and Mexico, now other 25 states in the nation in agreement with Texas.

In a recent development, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton told Texas Border Business though a press release, where he expresses his gratitude towards his counterparts from various states for their backing of Texas’s efforts to secure its border. This support was articulated in a letter endorsed by 25 attorneys general, along with prominent Arizona legislative leaders, praising the initiatives led by Governor Greg Abbott and Attorney General Paxton. These efforts are seen as crucial in the context of what they describe as the Biden Administration’s policies that purportedly foster a crisis of illegal immigration.

Image data courtesy @DHSgov via Victor Hugo Castillo reporter.

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