When President Joe Biden lifted the pandemic-era border restriction known as Title 42 in May, government officials expected a steep increase in the number of migrants coming into the United States.
The worst-case scenarios didn’t happen, and the administration has been touting a 42% drop in illegal border crossings since May.
But the reality at the border is more nuanced: The number of migrants arriving in the U.S. is still high, multiple law enforcement sources said. And the Biden administration has been ramping up deportations.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, about 85,000 migrants have been “repatriated” since Title 42 was lifted. That’s up 65% since the same period last year, which saw 51,246. During the same period the previous year, there were 33,087 repatriations, according to it.
“The Department is sending a clear message about the consequences of coming to the United States and seeking asylum improperly,” said Miguel Vergara, ICE Harlingen field office director.
More migrant crossings are also being classified as legal because they’re scheduling screening appointments at ports of entry on a mobile app. Still, the number of migrant families with children crossing the southern border has nearly tripled in the past two months, raising concerns of yet another overall uptick in crossings.
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