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Thousands of unaccompanied minors were reportedly apprehended at the United States southern border in July, and illegal immigration, overall, hit an all-time high last month, according to preliminary United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) numbers.
Around 19,000 children were picked up at the United States-Mexico border in July — more than the “previous high of 18,877 in March according to David Shahoulian, assistant secretary for border and immigration policy at the Department of Homeland Security,” per the Chicago Tribune.
It’s also up significantly from June when around 15,000 unaccompanied children were apprehended by border authorities. There are also reportedly more than 15,000 child migrants in Health and Human Services custody, being held at a number of temporary detention centers across the country, including Texas’ Ft. Bliss, the subject of a number of whistleblower complaints relating to how child migrants are treated.
The overall numbers are shocking. According to preliminary data, more CBP had more than 200,000 illegal alien encounters in the month of July — the highest on record since the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) began keeping track following its inception in 2001.
Border Patrol encountered more than 6,500 people per day in July.
“The number of people encountered in families during July is expected at about 80,000, Shahoulian said. That’s shy of the all-time high of 88,857 in May 2019 but up from 55,805 in June,” the Tribune noted. “Overall, U.S. authorities stopped migrants about 210,000 times at the border in July, up from 188,829 in June and the highest in more than 20 years.”
“The final count for July border arrests isn’t expected for several days, but preliminary numbers are usually pretty close. Over the first 29 days of July, authorities encountered a daily average of 6,779 people, including 616 unaccompanied children and 2,583 who came in families,” the outlet added.
The numbers are “not directly comparable” according to the Tribune, because of Title 42, which allows the U.S. government to expel illegal immigrants immediately if border officials determine there is a COVID-19 concerns concern. If a migrant is “expelled,” they are not given the opportunity to seek asylum, but they also do not face any legal consequences for crossing the border illegally.
The CDC extended Title 42 indefinitely on Monday night, according to USA Today, allowing the policy to “remain in effect until the CDC Director determines that the danger of further introduction of COVID-19 into the United States from covered noncitizens has ceased to be a serious danger to the public health, and the Order is no longer necessary to protect the public health.”
“The activity was overwhelmingly concentrated in the Border Patrol’s Del Rio and Rio Grande Valley sectors in south Texas,” the Tribune added.
Notably, Vice President Kamala Harris avoided the Del Rio and Rio Grande Valley sectors in her visit to the southern border, choosing, instead, to visit El Paso, Texas.
The Biden administration has struggled with its immigration policy since Inauguration Day when President Joe Biden ended, by executive order, several Trump administration policies, including the Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” plan, which forced asylum seekers to stay south of the border until an immigration court had an opportunity to review their case.
Recently, the Biden administration, led by Harris, unveiled a plan to address the “root causes” of illegal immigration by partnering with non-profits and other entities to provide resources to Mexico and Northern Triangle countries.