McALLEN, Texas (Border Report) — The processing of migrants under Title 8 — meaning those deemed inadmissible for remaining in the United States — increased in March along the Southwest border, and is a trend that is expected to continue when Title 42 expires in May.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported a 37% increase in the number of migrants processed under Title 8 in March from February. There were 76,851 migrants who were encountered on the Southwest border in March who were removed under Title 8, up from 55,902 in February, according to data released late Monday.

This is in line with what U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, a Texas Democrat and ranking member of the House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, last week told Border Report that Homeland Security officials plan to implement more Title 8 removals after Title 42 is revoked on May 11.

The Title 42 public health order has been in place since March 2020 and forbids asylum-seekers from crossing the border to prevent the spread of coronavirus, but it is being lifted as health officials have declared the pandemic over. Title 42 allows border agents to immediately expel migrants to Mexico. Under Title 8, a migrant could be paroled in the U.S., placed in detention in the U.S., or held in processing centers pending their removal proceedings.

So far in Fiscal Year 2023, CBP reports, the total number of Title 8 removals has already surpassed the total number of Title 42 expulsions on the Southwest border — 636,173 to 419,147.

(CBP Graphic)

In March, migrant encounters showed considerable drops in most Border Patrol sectors along the Southwest, including big decreases in South Texas, compared to March 2022. Nationwide, migrant encounters were down 23% from last March, CBP reports.

When compared to last March, migrant encounters in the Laredo Sector dropped 63%; the Rio Grande Valley Sector, which includes McAllen, had a 59% decrease; and the Del Rio Sector had a 43% drop in March. Other encounter decreases, according to CBP include:

  • 67% drop in the Big Bend Sector in West Texas.
  • 57% drop in the Yuma, Arizona, sector.
  • 41% drop in the El Centro, California, sector.

But overall, migrant encounters were up 25% from February, and CBP attributes it to more asylum-seekers attempting to cross the border during warmer spring weather and not during the winter.

Nearly 70% of migrants encountered on the Southwest border in March were single adults, CBP reports.

“Overall, in March, encounters of individuals on the Southwest border between ports of entry were down 23% from the prior year, as we continue to respond to the challenges presented by increasing global migration,” CBP Acting Commissioner Troy Miller said in a statement. “CBP will continue to enforce our immigration laws and ramp up efforts to combat smuggler misinformation as we prepare to return to expedited removal proceedings under Title 8 authorities, which carry stricter consequences like a five-year ban on reentry and potential criminal prosecution for unlawful entry.”

Border Patrol officials keep tabs on a large group of migrants who came across the Rio Grande from Juarez, Mexico, on April 13. It was the third consecutive day in which hundreds of migrants have turned themselves in to Border Patrol agents in El Paso, Texas. (Border Report Photo)

The El Paso Sector in far West Texas, however, continued to see massive increases in migrants and was up 54% from last March. The San Diego Sector also increased by 39% and the Tucson Sector in Arizona increased by 25% in March, compared to March 2022, CBP reports.

Large groups of hundreds of asylum-seekers crossed the border illegally from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, into El Paso, for several days in a row last week.

And Border Report has reported large groups of Mideasterners and Africans, like those from Somalia and Pakistan amassing along the border south of San Diego in Tijuana, Mexico.

the largest nationality of migrants who have been expelled via Title 42 by far this fiscal year are Mexicans — four times the number of Guatemalans, who are the next largest citizenship group, CBP reports.

Over 76% of asylum-seekers from Mexico so far this fiscal year have been denied asylum in U.S. immigration courts, which is up from a total of 52% of all other nationalities, Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) of Syracuse University reports.

Of the 30,000 total asylum seekers from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela allowed into the United States under the Biden administration’s new humanitarian parole rules, only 27,783 were accepted in March, CBP reports.

Border Report has asked DHS officials why the full 30,000 from those four countries were not granted humanitarian parole, as stated in the new rules. This story will be updated if information is received.