EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — Migrant encounters nationwide trended down for the first time in five months but have already surpassed all of last year’s total, according to new U.S. Customs and Border Protection data.
Monthly migrant encounters dropped 10 percent from May (274,831) to June (247,163), the first time they fell since a 14 percent drop from December to January.
Encounters this fiscal year, however, have already surpassed all of the last fiscal year with three months to go. CBP has reported 2,002,604 migrant encounters since Oct. 1; border authorities encountered 1,956,519 migrants in all of the Fiscal Year 2021, which ended Sept. 30.
Despite historically high numbers in recent months, including in June, CPB officials say the nationwide number of “unique individuals” encountered in June was 153,379.
At the Southwest border, the number of migrant encounters in June (207,416) fell 14 percent from 240,991 in May. According to CBP, 26 percent of those individuals had at least one prior run-in in the previous 12 months.
The data shows that Mexico continues to make up the largest nationality of migrants encountered at the border. In June, border authorities came across 66,557 Mexican nationals, about a third of all encounters at the Southwest border.
Individuals from Guatemala make up the second-largest group, with 24,765 encounters nationwide in June, followed by the 24,143 from Honduras. CBP labeled more than 18,000 encounters as “others.”
Meanwhile, single adults make up the largest demographic of migrant encounters.
On the Southwest border, single adults accounted for 68 percent of all encounters in June, with 140,197. That number represents a 16 percent decrease from the previous month.
CBP processed more than half of all Southwest encounters (115,142) under Title 8 and a little over 92,000 individuals (44 percent) under Title 42, the health order that allows border agents to immediately expel migrants without allowing them to request asylum on the grounds of preventing the spread of COVID-19.
The data also shows that border agents encountered 51,780 family units and 15,271 unaccompanied migrant children in June.
The majority of family units, 73 percent, are processed under Title 8.
CBP says that under Title 8, “those who attempt to enter the United States without authorization and are unable to establish a legal basis to remain in the United States (such as a valid asylum claim) will be quickly removed.”
CBP places unaccompanied migrant children in the custody of Health and Human Services.