The continued crisis at the southern U.S. border reached new heights in April when a record-high 234,088 migrants were encountered, according to new federal data released Tuesday. A total of 1,478,977 migrants have been encountered in Fiscal Year 2022 alone.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data showed that amount the 234,088 total migrant encounters in April, 201,800 took place on land along the U.S. border, while 32,288 took place at a port of entry – which the agency attributes to the surge of Ukrainian refugees fleeing their homeland after Russia invaded Feb. 24.
Of the 234,088 migrants encountered, 137,180 were processed for entry into the U.S., which included 77,172 single adults and 47,715 family unit individuals.
The remaining 96,908 migrants were expelled, which included 89,642 single adults and 7,058 family unit individuals.
The data also revealed that 28 percent of total migrant encounters involved migrants who had been encountered one or more times before in the past 12 months, while 157,555 migrants were considered new encounters.
Despite the massive number of migrants encountered this year alone, the number is expected to surge significantly next week with the termination of the CDC’s Title 42 public health order, which permitted migrants to be expelled due to risk of COVID-19 spread. The Department of Homeland Security has said after May 23, it will no longer expel migrants according to Title 42.
In March, DHS officials said they’re preparing for a massive surge of up to 540,000 migrants monthly, at a rate of 12,000 to 18,000 per day, after Title 42 ends.
An internal DHS preparation plan called “Southwest Border Strategic Concept of Operations” also said the influx of migrants would require an additional 2,500 law enforcement officers, 2,750 support staff and over 1,000 medical personnel at the southern border.
“This is what we do at DHS. We plan for all kinds of contingency events, whether they’re high probability or low probability,” a DHS official said. “We need to be prepared.”
Title 8 expulsions will remain in effect, which authorize the removal of migrants attempting to enter the U.S. without authorization and without a legal basis for entry, such as a valid claim of asylum.
With 1,478,977 migrant encounters so far and five months remaining, FY22 is already set to surpass FY21’s 1.73 million encounters, which broke the previous record from 1986 when officials recorded 1.69 million encounters nationwide.