The May sum, recording those who tried to get into the United States by sneaking in-between land crossings or were rejected entry at border checkpoints, was up from 178,622 in April and 172,331 in March. Approximately 8,000 of the 180,034 people whom border authorities met were denied entry at a gate of entry, while the rest went across the border through unfenced fields.
The condition at the southern border has attracted little response from Biden or Vice President Kamala Harris. Both have yet to visit the 2,000-mile international boundary and have disregarded calls for more action from Republicans, as well as Democrats.
Since the fiscal year 2021 began in October 2020, a total of 929,868 people have been encountered illegally seeking to enter the U.S. from Mexico, more than the 459,000 in all of 2020.
Over the past decade, an average of 30,000 to 50,000 people were encountered trying to get across the southern border unlawfully every month. The numbers dropped to less than 20,000 in April 2020, as border authorities executed a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendation that no one who came across is arrested in its small facilities, a move that was meant to stop the coronavirus from growing among migrants and law enforcement.
The number of children who came across without a parent or guardian fell from 17,171 in April to 10,765. It is the third-highest amount in the Border Patrol’s 97-year history and down from the zenith of 18,960 in March. The previous record of 11,861 was set in May 2019.
The Biden administration in late January opted not to continue turning away unaccompanied children, as had been the Trump administration’s strategy for adults and families. Because practically all adults who illegally cross will not be taken into care and led for prosecution, many adults have repeatedly tried to get across more than one time.
Federal data revealed that 117,397 adults were arrested while trying to sneak in last month. Of that number, 35% had been previously seized at least one time in the past 12 months, which is more than twice the normal 15% recidivism rate in recent years.
“The large number of expulsions during the pandemic has contributed to a larger-than-usual number of noncitizens making multiple border crossing attempts, and means total encounters somewhat overstate the number of unique individuals arriving at the border,” Border Patrol’s parent agency, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said in a statement issued Wednesday evening.