Oct 22, 2022 - Politics & Policy

U.S. sets new record for migrant border crossings

Immigrants await processing by U.S. Border Patrol agents.

Immigrants await processing by U.S. Border Patrol agents. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

Migrant border crossings in the 2022 fiscal year topped 2.76 million, breaking the previous record, according to data from Customs and Border Protection.

Why it matters: The sharp increase in border crossings comes as the Biden administration has faced challenges in trying to formalize its own border policy.

Details: The CBP said it stopped migrants more than 2,766,582 times for the 12 months ending on Sept. 30, 2022, which is much higher than the 1.72 million times from the previous fiscal year.

  • The increase was driven by an influx of Venezuelans, Cubans and Nicaraguans crossing the border, CBP said.
  • According to CBP, the "total encounters somewhat overstate the number of unique individuals arriving at the border" because many individuals who attempt to cross the border are sent to Mexico and try to cross again.

What they're saying: "While this early data is not reflected in the latest report, it confirms what we’ve said all along: when there is a lawful and orderly way to enter the country, individuals will be less likely to put their lives in the hands of smugglers and try to cross the border unlawfully," said CBP commissioner Chris Magnus in a statement.

The big picture: The Biden administration has been attempting to build a border policy, but it's been filled with hurdles and challenges, CNN reports. The White House and the Department of Homeland Security often spar on what works, leading to disagreements over policy.

  • Republicans have hit out at the Biden administration on the issue, which has been a logistical and political nightmare for the Democrats. Recently, Republican governors have been transporting migrants and asylum seekers by bus and plane to Democratic cities.

Go deeper: Biden reinvents migrant detention

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