Attempted crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border surpassed 200,000 in one month for the first time in more than two decades, according to July data released by the government Thursday.
More than 212,000 people attempted to cross the border in July, a 13 percent increase from June and the largest single month figure since 2000, when 223,305 attempted to cross the border.
The swelling figures show migrants have not put off journeys due to the summer heat as the Biden administration hoped, with many in the administration previously blaming high spring totals on seasonal migration patterns due to more favorable weather conditions.
"It is critical that intending migrants understand clearly that they will be turned back if they enter the United States illegally and do not have a basis for relief under our laws," Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro MayorkasAlejandro MayorkasJohns Hopkins to launch degree program in cybersecurity and policy The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Altria - New front in mandate wars; debt bill heads to Biden DHS to end workplace raids, shift focus to employers over undocumented workers MORE told reporters Thursday while visiting the border in Texas.
More than 95,000 people, nearly half of those who crossed the border, were swiftly expelled under Title 42, a Trump-era policy that allows the administration to boot migrants without allowing them to claim asylum.
While the majority are single adults, 12 percent of those expelled under Title 42 were families.
“The vast majority of single adults and many families continue to be expelled under the CDC’s Title 42 authority, and those who cannot be expelled under Title 42 and do not have a legal basis to remain are placed in expedited removal proceedings,” U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said in a release.
The U.S. also saw a 24 percent uptick in the number of unaccompanied children at the southwest border as well as a nearly 50 percent jump in the number of families.
Most of those not expelled through Title 42 were removed using another immigration policy authorities referred to as Title 8.
“To address recidivism, in July CBP began a Repeat Offender initiative, under which single adults who have previously been apprehended and deported under Title 8 are referred for prosecution,” the agency said in a release.