According to monthly figures issued by Customs and Border Protection, the number of illegal immigration apprehensions along the southwest border rose to roughly 165,000 in February, up 6.6 percent from January.
Last month, border officers encountered 164,973 persons along the US-Mexico border, with 30% of them having had at least one prior engagement with border officials in the previous year.
The total number of persons apprehended increased by 4.7 percent to 116,678 in February, up from 111,437 in January.
While the number of family units encountered declined from 31,998 to 26,582 in February, the number of unaccompanied minors taken into custody increased by 37% to over 12,000 children.
Approximately 55 percent (91,513) of the migrants found were handled for deportation under Title 42, while 73,460 were processed under Title 8. It’s unclear how many migrants were let into the United States.
The February spike, which represents a 63 percent increase over February 2021, follows the historical pattern of attempted crossings increasing early in the year before peaking in late spring or early summer. The number of arrests reached a high of almost 213,000 in July of last year. Following that, the number of contacts fell for three months before increasing in November and December before decreasing in January.
On Tuesday, Republicans slammed the administration over the increase, accusing it of failing to protect the border.
The rise in attempted border crossings coincides with the Biden administration’s efforts to deal with a number of domestic and international issues, including Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, surging inflation, and the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
Prior to the Russian incursion, Vice President Kamala Harris visited Europe last month to stress the administration’s dedication to NATO and Ukraine.