Posted on November 16, 2021

Migrant Arrests Along U.S.-Mexico Border Decrease for Third Consecutive Month

Camilo Montoya-Galvez, CBS News, November 15, 2021

The number of migrants taken into U.S. custody along the border with Mexico decreased for a third consecutive month in October after skyrocketing this summer, according to government data published on Monday.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recorded over 164,000 migrant apprehensions in October — a 23% percent drop from July, when border arrests reached a 21-year high.

Roughly 57% of the migrants encountered by U.S. border agents in October were expelled to Mexico or their homelands under a Trump-era emergency policy known as Title 42 that the Biden administration has retained.

The public health law, which was invoked by the Trump administration in March 2020, has allowed U.S. border officials to expel migrants without giving them a chance to see an immigration judge or an asylum officer. In October, U.S. officials expelled migrants over 93,600 times using the Title 42 authority.

The overall expulsions figure does not equal the number of individual migrants taken into custody since many try to enter the U.S. more than once and are processed multiple times. Nearly 30% of the migrants encountered in October had been previously processed by U.S. authorities in the past 12 months, CBP said.

Approximately 70,000 of the migrants who entered U.S. border custody in October were processed under immigration laws and allowed to seek asylum; though it is unclear how many of them requested protection, the CBP data show.

The steady decline in border apprehensions over the past three months is largely due to a marked reduction in the number of unaccompanied children and families entering U.S. custody.


Cris Ramón, an independent immigration policy analyst, said increased enforcement efforts by Mexican migration officials could be partly responsible for the steady decrease in the number of migrants reaching the southern U.S. border. He noted that Mexico has recorded an increase in migrant apprehensions in recent months, even as the number of crossings along the U.S. border have decreased.