EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – U.S. Border Patrol migrant encounters shot up more than 25 percent in the El Paso Sector in March, according to the latest federal government figures.

A total of 25,614 individuals were stopped between ports of entry in March, compared to 20,618 in February. That includes hundreds who were rescued from crowded, unsanitary stash houses in El Paso’s Lower Valley and in rural New Mexico. Another 1,054 were detained or presented themselves to U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at ports of entry.

The sharp rise in encounters mirrors a national trend that critics of the Biden administration say will accelerate with the planned May 23 lifting of Title 42 authority that allowed border agents to immediately expel newly arrived migrants to prevent the cross-border spread of COVID-19.

U.S. Border Patrol migrant encounters between ports of entry, Southwestern border, during march. (CBP graphic)
Nationwide totals (CBP graphic)

The Border Patrol and officers at ports of entry have encountered a total of 1.2 million migrants nationwide in the first six months of Fiscal Year 2022.

In Arizona, the Tucson Sector that includes Nogales and Douglas saw an increase of 6,025 apprehensions between ports of entry, while Yuma Sector border agents came across 8,849 additional migrants in March compared to February. An additional 753 migrants were arrested or presented themselves to CBP’s Office of Field Operations officers at Arizona ports of entry.