Adam Shaw and Griff Jenkins, Fox News, September 22, 2023
Migrant encounters at the southern border soared past the 200,000 mark once again in August hitting a new high for the calendar year and marking the highest August on record — the latest sign that the raging crisis at the southern border is escalating despite a brief lull in the early summer.
There were 232,972 migrant encounters at the southern border in August, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced on Friday afternoon. That is an increase from the 204,087 encounters in August 2022, and an increase from the 183,494 encountered in July and the 144,570 encountered in June.
It is the highest number of monthly encounters seen this year, although it is not the highest number seen this fiscal year — with both November and December 2022 seeing higher numbers. Of those encounters in August, which is the highest August on record, 181,059 were encountered by Border Patrol illegally between ports of entry.
The data brings the total migrant encounters for the fiscal year, excluding September, to over 2.2 million migrant encounters. CBP sources told Fox that, with September’s numbers so far, encounters for FY 2023 have already surpassed FY 22’s record 2.37 million encounters. Sources told Fox News on Friday that, with eight days left to go, there have been 2,388,350 encounters in FY 2023.
May and June saw a drop in border encounters after the ending of Title 42. The Biden administration attributed the drop to the implementation of a number of policies, including expanded “lawful” migrant pathways, a new asylum rule limiting who could claim asylum and the restoration of Title 8 enforcement.
But numbers have since shot up, engulfing the border in crisis again, and having knock-on effects in cities like New York City and Chicago — where officials and residents have called on the federal government to do more to help them deal with the influx.
There have been a daily average of around 9,000 encounters in recent days at the border. The surge was on display this week in Eagle Pass, Texas, where thousands of Venezuelan migrants surged into the area across the river, camping out under a nearby bridge — which forced a temporary shutdown of two bridges as agents struggled to cope.