Illegal crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border are spiking this month, with U.S. Customs and Border Protection encountering far more migrants per day than during the summer months.
According to CBP data reported by NBC News, border officials encountered more than 7,500 migrants on Sunday alone, including 1,800 in Rio Grande Valley, Texas; 1,600 in Del Rio, Texas; 1,500 in Tucson, Arizona, and more than 1,000 in El Paso, Texas.
Border crossings have risen week after week through September following a summer lull, though traffic is still below May’s record of 10,000 per day. President Biden’s administration had touted the summer’s lower numbers as proof that its border policies were working.
“We remain vigilant and expect to see fluctuations, knowing that smugglers continue to use misinformation to prey on vulnerable individuals,” CBP told the outlet. “CBP is working according to plan and as part of our standard processes to quickly decompress the areas along the southwest border, and safely and efficiently screen and process migrants to place them in immigration enforcement proceedings consistent with our laws.”
Sunday’s 7,500 number comes after July saw an average of 4,300 daily crossings.
The CBP’s El Paso Office of Field Operations temporarily suspended cargo processing at the Bridge of the Americas (BOTA) port of entry on Monday. The agency did not specify a date when it would return to normal operations, only that it would do so “as quickly as feasible.”
“The temporary suspension at BOTA will allow CBP’s Office of Field Operations officers to assist the U.S. Border Patrol in processing noncitizens who have arrived between the ports of entry including vulnerable populations like families and unaccompanied children,” CBP said in a statement. “CBP regularly plans for and executes contingency measures, such as this, to support the overarching agency mission and ensure the safety and wellbeing of those in the agency’s custody.”
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